On her ESPN.com ACC blog, Heather Dinich makes three predictions regarding Georgia Tech. First, that the offense will be even better. Second, that junior Jonathan Dwyer will turn pro after this season. Third, that the Jackets, even with this upgraded offense and with Dwyer on his farewell tour, won’t finish first in their division. Virginia Tech will.
To be fair, most people pick VPI — we old folks still remember Virginia Tech as the Virginia Polytechnic Institute — to win the Coastal. I’m not among them. (Then again, I’m often wrong.) I’m picking G-Tech over V-Tech because V-Tech plays at G-Tech on Oct. 17. But Ms. Dinich offers a compelling reason for her forecast: The newness of GT’s offensive and defensive lines.
“It’s the most glaring weakness for Georgia Tech,” she writes, “and one that only time and game experience can overcome. Having to replace three of four starters on the defensive line will be no easy task, and the offensive line continues to be a work in progress. That’s something the Hokies shouldn’t have to worry about this fall.”
But here are two points I’d make in the form of (mild) rebuttal: Yes, G-Tech lost three of its front four on defense, but the one who returns — defensive end Derrick Morgan — is the best of the bunch. And last season’s offensive line had to learn a new and exotic way of playing. This year’s bunch already knows where to stand, which is no small thing.
And I just don’t believe in Virginia Tech’s offense. I do, however, believe in Paul Johnson’s. On Oct. 17, make it G-Tech 23, V-Tech 16. And pencil in G-Tech for a date against Florida State on Dec. 5 in Tampa. (Plenty of good seating will, I’m sure, be available.)
And another dissenting view: Writing for Sporting News Today, Dave Curtis makes the case for Georgia Tech going — pause for effect — undefeated. Writes Curtis:
“Virginia Tech has emerged as the popular pick to join the 13-0 club. But the Hokies come to Atlanta in October, by which time Paul Johnson’s triple-option attack should be thriving as the nation’s No. 1 rushing unit. Nice knowing you, VT. Georgia comes to Atlanta, too, and there’s not much evidence the Bulldogs will be able to tackle Tech any better than they did last Thanksgiving weekend. Look for Tech in the Orange Bowl with a Top 5 ranking.”
Speaking of Jonathan Dwyer: According to Monday’s live chat at RamblinWreck.com, he sleeps with his eyes open. Which is totally the opposite of me: I work with my eyes closed. Like right now.