College football 2009: Tech wins the ACC, Georgia loses four

OK, so I’m a big fat homer, but I’m an equal-opportunity homer. In last year’s long-range college football predictions, I picked Georgia to win the BCS title. This time I’m picking Georgia Tech …

• To take the ACC championship. I believe Paul Johnson when he says his stylized offense will be ever better, and I note the key game on Tech’s conference schedule — Virginia Tech on Oct. 17 — will be staged at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Because I think there’ll be some days when the Jackets fumble 10 times or it rains or something, I’m guessing they’ll lose twice. (At Florida State and, believe it or not, at Vandy.) But they’ll go 10-2 and beat FSU in a rematch for the ACC title.

• I see Georgia losing four games. If that sounds like a lot, recall that the star-studded 2008 team lost three, and — stop me if you’ve heard this already — Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno are gone. Joe Cox won’t be as good as D.J. Shockley was in 2005, but he’ll be OK. Replacing Moreno will be more problematic. And there’s still the Willie Martinez factor. The losses: At Oklahoma State and Tech, to LSU at home and (duh) in Jacksonville.

• Tennessee will finish fifth in its division. Welcome to the SEC, L’il Kiffy. Go recruit some more.

• Alabama got ahead of itself last season, peaking in that first half in Athens. Without John Parker Wilson and Glen Coffee and (especially) Andre Smith, the Tide will ebb just a bit. Bolstered by Les Miles’ deft hire of John Chavis to run his defense, LSU will win the SEC West.

• Auburn will finish fifth in its division. Welcome back to the SEC, Gene Chizik. Your limo awaits.

• Florida will win the East. Florida will win the SEC title. Florida will not, however, win the national championship.

• Florida will score 63 points against Tennessee on Sept. 19. The Urban Crier will call three timeouts in the final 30 seconds. And he won’t say he’s sorry.

• Ole Miss, picked in many preseason top 10s, will disappoint. Arkansas, led by that bastion of stability Bobby Petrino, will surprise. The man can coach. (FYI, I almost picked Georgia to lose in Fayetteville on Sept. 19. But I chickened out.)

Which of Bradley's predictions is the silliest?

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• Tim Tebow won the 2007 Heisman Trophy. Sam Bradford won it in 2008. Both are still playing college football. Neither will win the 2009 Heisman. Colt McCoy will.

• Tech’s Jonathan Dwyer will finish fifth in the Heisman voting.

• The national championship game will be staged in Pasadena. One of the qualifiers will enter unbeaten and ranked No. 1 and hugely favored to claim a second consecutive BCS title. Yes, this is beginning to sound like January 2006 all over again, and here’s where it gets eerie. Because …

• The team awaiting this colossus will again be Texas, which will again be undefeated itself and which will again be afforded little chance. And again the Longhorns will win a game for the ages, with their quarterback (McCoy this time, channeling Vince Young) outplaying the other team’s star (Tebow in this case; in 2006 the bigger names were Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart of Southern Cal). The final score will again be 41-38. I apologize for not being more specific.

643 comments Add your comment

Jon

May 29th, 2009
12:31 pm

I really wish Bradley hadn’t picked Tech to win the ACC. His track record has been really poor lately.

Mart

May 29th, 2009
12:35 pm

You missed what I think will be the strangest event of the season. Oklahoma will meet Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl, and after playing 10 overtimes both teams will agree that the game should end a tie because neither program is good enough to ever win a major bowl game.

Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrright

May 29th, 2009
12:38 pm

There’s a reason Ohklahoma and Nebraska dropped the option-based offense some time ago. We will be reminded again in 2009.

kool$kat

May 29th, 2009
12:40 pm

Hope you’re right about GTech and uga, Mark! Barring injuries, the Jackets can be #1 in ACC. I hope the doggies lose more than four, but thats a fair prediction. By the way, I knew you were wrong last year. Over-rated pups were just not that good.

Ryan

May 29th, 2009
12:41 pm

Hahahaha. Mark really thinks Texas can put up 41 on UF. Thats laughable. Mccoy is a fine QB , but they are very one dimensional. You cant beat a team like UF throwing the ball every down , and rely on Mccoy scrambling against UF’s front. In other words if the Defense knows you’re going to pass it means trouble. Nice try though Mark.

David

May 29th, 2009
12:42 pm

Not saying it’ll happen but if it does, is Richt on the hot seat of UGA goes 8-4 or 9-3 (including losses to UF and GT)?

Barry Osborne

May 29th, 2009
12:45 pm

There is a reason, genius, that Oklahoma and Nebraska dropped the option and it had nothing to do with ineffectiveness. Care to guess the reason. My blog handle and the words Social Security, AARP and pension should provide clues.

Mark Bradley

May 29th, 2009
12:48 pm

The only way Richt is on the hot seat is if he takes a spin in Auburn’s limo and turns on the seat-warmer. (Heh, heh.)

oronomus

May 29th, 2009
12:49 pm

You missed it on Ole Miss. This is their home field advantage year and they take the West. Jevon Snead is the real deal, even without Michael Oher. They will miss Peria Jerry but Greg Hardy will be SEC defenensive player of the year. Nutt out-coaches Petrino any day. Don’t think Ole Miss’ll beat FLA, but noone else will either, Texas/Okla/Ohio St included.

John

May 29th, 2009
12:50 pm

And there’s a reason it worked last season – Paul Johnson knows how to do it.

Steve

May 29th, 2009
12:52 pm

Mark – do you think that the ACC will be as difficult to predict week-to-week as it was last year?

P

May 29th, 2009
12:54 pm

Nebraska and Oklahoma dropped the option offense because the coaches moved on not because the defenses caught up to it. It’s a tribute to Paul Johnson that you are referring to Tom Osborne and Barry Switzer. Two of the most prolific and winningest coaches in history!

NatiJacket

May 29th, 2009
12:56 pm

I found myself nodding along with every prediction, and at the poll I was stumped. Rational, well thought out reasons for your predictions? I’m impressed Bradley. You’re moving up in the world.

But unfortunately, this article means that none of those events will now occur.

Mac

May 29th, 2009
12:56 pm

Good stuff, Bradley. But is this Chris Hatcher’s breakout year at Georgia Southern? And does a coaching change at the transfer of B.J. Coleman make Chattanooga a contender in the Southern Conference?

DHW

May 29th, 2009
12:57 pm

Richt will never be on the hot seat, because most UGA fans are smitten with him and don’t have the fire to aspire for more. Seriously, with all the talent in this state, they should be a contender for the NC every season, but their potential never equals their underachieving results. Blame the coaching, but above all else, blame the fan apathy that continues to tolerate overmatched coaching.

Jack G.

May 29th, 2009
12:57 pm

Mark

I dont know what you are smokeing, but its pretty strong stuff.

jabster

May 29th, 2009
12:58 pm

Tech will lose at Tally. Tech won’t necessarily lose at Vandy, but they will lose another game somewhere. Tech will either sweep the ACCC or win a one-loss head-to-head tiebreaker with VT. UNC and Virginia will be avenged.

Right On Time

May 29th, 2009
1:04 pm

NOBODY will score 41 on fla.

David: THe answer is NO.

I am no tech fan but the “O” that they ran last year was pretty successful. I think they, as techies state over and over, will be better this year. I still don’t see them winning the ACC. My guess would be VaTech.

UGA will be 9-3. We know there will be the loss to fla, the other two could be from LSU, sc, a wierd one from tenn. I do not believe they will lose to tech, no matter how good they are.

I also like the McCoy pick for the Heisman.

Volman

May 29th, 2009
1:06 pm

Mark, great predictions for the most part. Very bold with the Georgia Tech at 10-2 and winning the ACC, but with the expectations being exceeded last year I would say 10-2 is fair. Georiga will lose around 4 games I believe.

Enough of taking jabs at Kiffin. Tennessee might surprise some people. You have to realize there are plenty of UT fans in Georgia. I love Tech and Tennessee. I’ll be happy with 6-6 or 7-5, but I don’t think they’ll have another year like last year. It cannot get any worse. Why don’t you talk about how Urban Meyer complains and cries to the SEC commissioner when he doesn’t get his way? Nobody ever talks about that. I guess winning the NC gives you the ability to be the biggest baby in the SEC.

I look forward to your next Hawks post as well! Keep it coming!

G State Ben

May 29th, 2009
1:06 pm

Mac, no one cares about Fake GSU football. Tech will not win the ACC. They are not better than Florida State (were not last year either, they recovered a Marcus Sims fumble to win), Virginia Tech or Miami (they will be better, like it or not).

Georgia does lose 4 times and then the Georgia fans will be clamoring for the days of David Greene. Aaron Murray will be taking snaps by Week 5 by the way.

In no way will Texas score 40 on anyone outside of the Big 12. How many DBs got drafted from the Big 12 this year? That’d be one, Darcel McBath out of Texas Tech. There are not enough good Defensive backs in teh Big 12, they are plenty in the Big 10, Big East, ACC and SEC.

KT

May 29th, 2009
1:07 pm

Alabam will win the west Ole Miss will come in second. Florida will win the east, with GA coming in second, Tenn third. No Texas won’t and cannot beat Florida. Get a grip Mark please. Albama will beat Fla in the SEC championship, and go on to win the National title.

Ga Tech will lose to VA tech, North Carolina and Georgia (it is a rivalry ya know)

Volman

May 29th, 2009
1:07 pm

What is even better is looking back and last year’s predictions and all of the dolt UGA fans agreeing with the 11-1 record and talking National Title! Hilarious!

UGA is a joke.

Pitbull

May 29th, 2009
1:09 pm

Must have been Bradley’s day in the AJC sports writers’ pool to use UGA and southern college football to build readership. Wonder whose turn it will be on Monday?

Isn’t it a shame watching AJC (and non AJC) hack sports writers use college kids to schlock for a living?

Volman

May 29th, 2009
1:09 pm

G-State Ben… If I remember correctly, didn’t Georgia Tech beat Florida State last year? That means they were the better team. They won. This isn’t a fantasy league. Also, Tech was ahead the ENTIRE game and FSU came back only to choke at the end.

Get your facts straight, please.

Whatever

May 29th, 2009
1:10 pm

This is the craziest article that has ever made it onto the ajc website. The day that the Nats finish with more wins that the DAWGS will be the day. Oh yea, The 1940’s called and they want their offense back. Go Dawgs and the Hell with Tech!

Whatever

May 29th, 2009
1:12 pm

Mark I just lost all respect for you as a journalist.

Volman

May 29th, 2009
1:12 pm

Whatever, I applaud your blind support for the University of Georgia, but when you look back at 2008 Georgia Tech beat UGA in pretty much every head to head competition (save baseball).

We all know about academics, but I figured you wouldn’t want to get into that.

Hey, there’s always next year…right? Does your basketball team have 5 players yet?

slimpickens

May 29th, 2009
1:14 pm

Mark, don’t bogart that joint, please pass it around!!!

Baba O'Riley

May 29th, 2009
1:14 pm

G State Ben- Cooper Taylor CAUSED that fumble. I would like to see who the “real GSU” is this year. I like Bill Curry, but Chris Hatcher is a rising star and would soundly defeat Georgia State.

slimpickens

May 29th, 2009
1:16 pm

Mark, oh by the way, If I want to read a real paper, it wouldn’t be the washed up AJC!!

Whatever

May 29th, 2009
1:16 pm

Is it blind support when the dawgs beat tech 14 out of the last 18 years, or better yet is it blind support that Tech lost 7 out of the last 8? Or maybe its blind support that we hold the overall lead by more than 20 games, depending on how many losses you want to forget about! That is not blind support, but domination. And I understand why you would revert to calling blind support: Your feelings are hurt bc you loose to us Every Year!

Tony Atkins

May 29th, 2009
1:17 pm

GT hasn’t beaten UGA twice in a row this century, why would they be able to do it this year?

Baba O'Riley

May 29th, 2009
1:18 pm

Mark, you just made a bunch of rednecks mad. You would’ve made an amazing “heel” in the old Gordon Solie Georgia Championship Wrestling days. You could get the ‘necks into a frenzy like to Iron Sheik did.

Whatever ?

May 29th, 2009
1:20 pm

Don’t care either way but, shhh check 2008, oh and it’s Georgia that doesn’t count games. Would they have counted if the Dogs had won?

Baba O'Riley

May 29th, 2009
1:21 pm

Whatever—GT “looses” to “us” every year??? Sounds like the GOP saying McCain would definitely win because we’ve had a white President every year.

Jimv

May 29th, 2009
1:21 pm

Paul Johnson to take the Jackets to the ACC title! What an impact this coach has made on college football. But the fans at Georgia Southern saw his genius a long time ago. Good pick, Mark.

GTMike

May 29th, 2009
1:21 pm

G-State Ben…Tech had the FSU game well in hand until our QB got hurt. Once Nesbitt went out, the Noles rallied. And still lost. I don’t think that makes FSU better than Tech was last year.

Who knows what this year will bring?? Last year, everyone was talking about how good UGa was and what a season they would have, and look what happened. We won’t know how good Tech is until some folks start hitting in September. This pre-season stuff is fun and gets conversation going, but is pretty meaningless, really.

Volman

May 29th, 2009
1:26 pm

Looks like Whatever (redneck) is a little steamed right now! Did I get you upset by pointing out the DOMINATION that was 2008? I’m sorry about that. I will give you that UGA has won many times in a row the past 10-15 years, but if you want to keep living in the past that is fine. I guess that’s what rednecks do.

I’ll live in the BRIGHT future that Tech has (and anyone associated with it) and laugh at the DIMINISHING future of UGA (Mark Richt is the next Philip Fulmer).

Again, UGA is a joke. This year, last year, or a 100 years ago.

spectator

May 29th, 2009
1:30 pm

Hey G State Ben….Your statement of only one Big 12 D=Back being drafted this year shows how little you know. Have you ever heard of William Moore from Mizzou? Falcons drafted him with their 2nd pick. I’m sure there were others, but I’m not a football junkie so don’t know the names. Must be embarrassing for you to make such a dumb statement.

Mac

May 29th, 2009
1:34 pm

Fake GSU? When Curry wins his seventh national title, you can talk. Until then blow it out your rear.

BrianT

May 29th, 2009
1:35 pm

Georgia leads all-time 59-39-5…. Not bad for some rednecks.

Herschel

May 29th, 2009
1:35 pm

No way Tech can win the ACC with NC on the horizon. Butch Davis has those guys playing at SEC caliber and there is no way Tech can compete with them along with the other ACC powerhouses (FSU, Wake, etc.) Georgia may lose 4 but Tech will not be one of them.

Whatever

May 29th, 2009
1:35 pm

At least at UGA we have real fans, where as tech cant even put 40K bodies in seats wheter winning or loosing! Tech is a bunch of nerds and morons (I think that Vol Man is the latter).

Hey Volman

May 29th, 2009
1:35 pm

What is funny is that UT has been the laughing stock of the SEC for several years now. I believe UGA fared much better with high expectations than UT did a couple of years back when they started the year in the Top 5 and ended going 5-6.

DawginLex

May 29th, 2009
1:36 pm

A “volman” talking smack on a blog about college football? Can you say 5-7? Can you say bye to Fulmer? Can you say hired an embarrassment? Can you say 70-14 Gators? Can you say 24-10 Dawgs in the cesspool known as Neyland?

Dawgs won’t lose more than 2 games.
Dawgs won’t lose again to Tech.
Dawgs won’t lose to Okie State.
Tech won’t win the ACC because UNC will.
NC State will make me the happiest man alive by crushing Mr. Obnoxious Spurrier on opening day.

hop

May 29th, 2009
1:36 pm

have no fear dawg fans, mark has no clue !

when he makes he makes his selection on winners in college football they NEVER pan out.

he just put the kiss of death on the bees who have lost most of their defense from last year’s team.

mark, the dawgs have more than one qb with logan gray given a great change of pace.
also, stafford was not am accurate passer, cox is and with an experience offensive line this year, georgia does not need superstar running back to have a 10-2 year.

oklas state has NO defense and we saw what ole miss did the big 12 giant texas tech in the bowl game.dawgs do not play alabama and play a weaker sec schedule this year.
speaking of bowl games what was the score of tech’s last bowl game; need i say more!

Whatever

May 29th, 2009
1:37 pm

Lets give some tickets away so that we are not embarased with an empty stadium on a Thursday night!! Nerds are a JOKE!

Hey Volman

May 29th, 2009
1:38 pm

The only joke on here is you. You just keep on putting hillarious material out there.

Keep on smoking it buddy. UGA will keep on kicking Tech’s @ss 75% of the time. That is not a bad winning percentage in my book!

Whatever

May 29th, 2009
1:38 pm

I think LSU is still scoring on Tech!

Munson

May 29th, 2009
1:39 pm

Volman, you should be a comedian. First you call UGA a joke when it was your team that lost to an unranked Wyoming team at home last year. Last I checked, UGA only lost to ranked team last year, can’t say that about UT, can you?

And UGA fans are rednecks, care to look at your own fanbase genius? I know, you are a Tech fan now cause why on earth would you want to be a UT fan at this point. Hell, I would become a Tech fan too if I supported that sorry excuse for a football team UT fielded last year.