Hot Button, Part 2: Where would UGA rank in the ACC?

Remind me again. What happened when Georgia last played an ACC team? (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

What happened when Georgia last played an ACC team? (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

A screaming comes across the sky. (Props to Pynchon.) Much of the sound emanates from the rejoicing of Georgia Tech fans, but the real wails stem from the anguish of Georgia Bulldog backers, who have just learned that their beloved team would …

Rank fourth in the ACC Coastal, second in the ACC Atlantic, fifth in the ACC overall.

That’s my opinion, anyway. I’d put Georgia behind Tech, Miami and Virginia Tech in the Coastal; behind Clemson in the Atlantic; behind all four in the overall power rankings.

A word of explanation: This whole thing got started, as whole things will, when I posed the question: Where would Tech rank in the SEC? (Fourth behind Florida, Alabama and LSU, I said.) One or two of you suggested an even better idea would be to ask the same of Georgia and the ACC. So I have. And here it is.

My rationale: I consider the 2009 Bulldogs a shade above mediocre. (Subject to change with the next few week’s results, obviously.) I’d  put Georgia sixth in the SEC — behind Florida, Alabama, LSU, Auburn and Tennessee. I’d rate the Bulldogs above Ole Miss because the Rebels really haven’t beaten anybody and above South Carolina because Georgia beat the Gamecocks.

Where would Georgia rank in the ACC?

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In my view, there’s not an ACC team as good as Florida, Alabama or LSU, but several belong in the next tier. Tech is the best of that bunch, with Miami and Virginia Tech and now Clemson fitting the description. Do I think Georgia would beat any of those four on a neutral field? I don’t.

I struggled most with North Carolina. The Tar Heels have a good defense and a decent record (6-3), but their only win of substance was over Virginia Tech, which seemed to peak a month ago. In the end I decided a 5-4 Georgia with wins over South Carolina and Arkansas was superior to that. But it was a tough call.

To Georgia fans who’ve maintained that even in a down year the Bulldogs could win the ACC … sorry, I disagree. It isn’t as if this team has suffered every loss by a field goal. Indeed, only the LSU defeat was close, and it probably shouldn’t have been. This is the weakest bunch of Bulldogs since 1996 (Jim Donnan’s first year). I couldn’t see this team winning the Mountain West.

Besides, this fifth-in-the-ACC rating does contain a silver lining, Dog lovers. I’ve still got your team ahead of Duke.

644 comments Add your comment

Scott

November 11th, 2009
10:26 pm

Mark Bradley

November 11th, 2009
10:29 pm

Nope. You’re the first, Scott. Kudos.

Unless, of course, you don’t care to fulfill your obligations as First, in which case our runnerup would take over your duties.

Herschel Talker

November 11th, 2009
10:29 pm

MB:

You’re really bored these days.

HT

Todd

November 11th, 2009
10:29 pm

The acc is not as bad as people make it out to be. In fact, this year I believe it is better. When Ga tech beats 1/4 of the conference by next month, that will solidify my belief. Bama and Fla are only where they are because of the refs and luck. They are beatable. Tired of hearing about the lack of defense. How about the lack of offense on those teams. It will show in the bowls.

[...] And now, because fair’s fair: Where would Georgia rank in the ACC? [...]

jabster

November 11th, 2009
10:30 pm

The dream matchup I want to see is UGA and Duke in Music City.

JacketFan

November 11th, 2009
10:31 pm

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

((((((((((45-42)))))))))))))))

Scott

November 11th, 2009
10:31 pm

Wow I was certain someone would beat me since I read half the column. My first first and I blew it! LOL

Todd

November 11th, 2009
10:32 pm

I would love to see the dawgs in the music city and lose to an acc team. It would almost be as much fun as when GT rolls them in 2-3 weeks.

Mark Bradley

November 11th, 2009
10:33 pm

My advice: Don’t read anything I write. Just type “first” and move on to better things.

Garrett

November 11th, 2009
10:35 pm

Here are the teams that I think would beat Ga this year from the ACC.

GT, Miami, VT, Clem, Bc, Unc Wake.

Bc wake and unc are every bit the same caliber team as sc, ga and arky.

If Ga played tech’s acc schedule, they would lose miami, vt, clem, and either unc or wake. 4-4 record.

PTC Jacket

November 11th, 2009
10:36 pm

This is actually very reasonable. I would say that you should do a follow up at the end of the bowl games to see if either teams held up (or held down, in UGA’s case) to their expectations. I honestly would think that UNC would beat UGA, but then again, no one would know unless they played each other.

mtraininjax

November 11th, 2009
10:38 pm

Mark good column, glad I asked for it. Now, can you put UGA’s mascot in a skirt and show him swarmed by yellow jackets? That might just rile up what is left of the Dawg fan base.

GT For You And Me

November 11th, 2009
10:39 pm

Yep! The Dawgs are RANK alright…….

DMWC

November 11th, 2009
10:39 pm

I agree that it’s very close between UGA and UNC. Maybe they will play in the Carpets of Dalton Bowl this year, and we can sort it all out.

Delbert D.

November 11th, 2009
10:40 pm

6th in the SEC…right there at the Sagarin mean (or average?) for the SEC. My extensive 15 minute analysis of Sagarin’s strength of schedule methods this evening led me to think it’s best handled by a computer.

CW

November 11th, 2009
10:41 pm

Man, Mark I do love it when you stir the pot!

perk

November 11th, 2009
10:43 pm

enjoy the ride jackets……..UGA will be back and it may be sooner than you think or want.

Chardog

November 11th, 2009
10:44 pm

Mark any thoughts on whether coaching changes are coming on the Defense?

Delbert D.

November 11th, 2009
10:44 pm

Garrett – UNC is just plain flakey this year. Wake’s good; very close losses/OT games.

GT GRAD

November 11th, 2009
10:44 pm

Well let’s see:

If UGA had GT’s schedule:

Jacksonville State – Win
Clemson – Loss
Miami – Loss
North Carolina – Loss
Miss State – Win
FSU – Loss
VT – Loss
Virginia – Win
Vandy – Win
Wake Forest – Loss
Duke – Win
UGA – Tie (if we substitute GT here it would be another LOSS!)

Therefore UGA would be 5-6-1 or 5-7 if they played GT’s schedule this year. A 2-6 record against ACC teams would place them soundly near the very bottom of the ACC!!

PTC Jacket

November 11th, 2009
10:44 pm

Perk: Does it matter to us? You had Stafford, Moreno, and MoMass, and you still couldn’t beat us on our first year with the option.

Steven

November 11th, 2009
10:45 pm

Mark
Why are you guys so gung ho on lsu? Who have they beaten. Not one ranked team. Look at the records of the teams they have beaten. I’m going on record now and saying the sec will not look all that great in their bowl games this year. A few years of them kicking butt has many brainwashed into thinking they are so dominant. I’m not buying it. Sec loses more bowl games than it wins and fla bama don’t look good either.

Winkin Blinkin and Nod

November 11th, 2009
10:47 pm

Mark, What a sorry state of affairs for UGA to be ranked fifth in as weak a conference as the ACC. And the worst part of this is that (as a Dawg fan) I agree with you. YIKES!!

I am a little tired already of the GT fans who act as if THEY have won 7 of the last 8 meetings with UGA. And, by the way do you all mind if (just for the heck of it) we go ahead and PLAY the game on Nov. 28th before we annoint Tech the winner and greatest team of all time? You never know, there may be a surprise at the end of the assumed rainbow

Delbert D.

November 11th, 2009
10:47 pm

perk – enjoy yours as well. We know all about that ride. Bill Lewis, Chan Gailey, Bud Carson, etc., etc.

Steven

November 11th, 2009
10:47 pm

Yes perk. That inexperienced freshman qb next year just scares your opponents to death!

GT GRAD

November 11th, 2009
10:48 pm

For comparison, I have posted the same approach as above with GT using Florida’s 2009 schedule:

Well let’s see:

IF GT had Florida’s schedule:

Charleston Southern – Win
Troy – Win
Tenessee – Win
Kentucky – Win
LSU – Loss
Arkasas – Win
Miss St – Win
UGA – Win
Vandy – Win
South Carolina – Win
Florida International – Win
FSU – Win

GT would be 11-1 (unless the SEC referees wanted GT to be undefeated in a similar fashion as they obviously have helped Florida – if this were the case the LSU game would be a Win as well & GT would be 12-0)!

Fairly convincing even with the more realistic 11-1 record I would say!!

Important comments regarding the 38-3 LSU game played in 2008: I understand the final score was UGLY, but I am a little tired of so many people claiming LSU shut our offense down.

LSU had 324 yards total offfense.

GT had 314 yards total offense.

The difference in the game was primarily from turnovers and poor field position.

LSU had ZERO turnovers.

GT had THREE turnovers.

GT was also 2 for 6 on 4th down……….just like FOUR more turnovers.

The game got away from GT early and the snowball kept getting bigger and bigger as the desperation plays continued going in the favor of LSU.

LSU beat GT soundly (38-3) and I am not suggesting anything different; however, they did NOT shut Coach PJ’s offense down as so many people and media pundits are claiming.

Steven

November 11th, 2009
10:50 pm

GT grad
Excellent points. If we had bama’s schedule, we’d be 11-1 also but I don’t think the loss would be to Lsu. They are the most overrated piece of junk I’ve seen

Delbert D.

November 11th, 2009
10:50 pm

GT GRAD – Yes, but: Which UNC? Which FSU? The good ‘uns or the bad ‘uns?

Denver Dawg

November 11th, 2009
10:51 pm

soak it up now, Bumble Bees… enjoy this little period of UGA being (relatively) “down”… then get out your media guide and realize it’s just a temporary “blip”, and Dawg dominance will likely soon return. Sure does seem like most “posters” these days are pimply-faced teenagers, on daddy’s computer, with no idea of overall series history. UGA is the 11th most successful program in the history of college football – we’re not going ANYWHERE!

Winkin Blinkin and Nod

November 11th, 2009
10:52 pm

GT Grad, I wouldn’t be so sure about UGA losing to UNC, FSU, or Wake. I’ll give you the rest. FSU, for example seems to have UGA’s way of giving games away, so perhaps the game would go on forever!

Super Mario

November 11th, 2009
10:53 pm

Mark I greatly appreciate your daily blog output…thought-provoking to say the least. It’s funny you posted this blog today, because I just had this same discussion with fellow Tech alums this weekend. Unfortunately, included in our discussion was a member of UGA’s wal-mart alumni (i.e. a loud mouth fan that’s never been on Baxter St.). He wasn’t willing to admit that his program was having a bad year. It was always the officials (LSU), or swine flu (Okie State), or whatever talking point these myopians (kool-aid drinkers) have been falling back on all year. Memo to Bulldog fan…you’re 5-4, and you should thank the good Lord you’re not 2-7. By the time Auburn is done pulling a Spurrier on you (hanging half a hundred), Larry Munson will jump up and shout, “Look at the urine falling out of the sky!”

Semper Fi to all the Marines (especially my dad)
THWG

GT For You And Me

November 11th, 2009
10:54 pm

I thought DAWGS were for hot dog buns!!!!

Ace

November 11th, 2009
10:54 pm

Winkin
I don’t see that. I see gt fans tired of redneck dawg fans mocking gt fans, their stadium, their record, their conference, their players, their student body, etc. Talk about an insecurity complex you guys have. You don’t have any room now to talk smack yet there’s a gazillion posts by your fans talking just that. Live in the past man. That’s what you got for now.

BugKiller

November 11th, 2009
10:55 pm

Mark,

Where would we rank if we were to kidnap The Three Stoogers (Willie Martinez, Jojhn Jancek, and Jon Fabris) before the move the ACC??? Thus forcing Richt to bring in competent coaches, as opposed to his best friends, to coach up all the talent that is currently languishing under The Three Stooges?

I also have a feeling, that much like their job prospects outside of the Mark Richt Cocoon for Terrible Coaches in Athens, no one BUT Mark Richt would actually meet any ransom demands for the Stooges.

Those guys just aren’t wanted by anyone else.

Delbert D.

November 11th, 2009
10:56 pm

Mark, now you’ve done it – There are going to be a lot of “whiney Tech posters” on a “UGA blog”, and a lot of “whiney UGA posters” on an “ACC blog.”

Actually, a masterful piece of work!

Steven

November 11th, 2009
10:58 pm

Yep denver, fla tenn gt aub, we are all so scared of your inexperienced qb next year! You couldn’t do squadoosh with the nfl’s first draft pick and top 3 running back yet you will be so good next year. You guys are in denial. Time to get some help. CPJ will lose maybe 1/6 against you over his tenure. Get use to it. Already lost another recruit to Tenn today.

DMWC

November 11th, 2009
10:58 pm

It was especially cruel of Mark to quote Thomas Pynchon in an article Dawg fans will attempt to read.

Delbert D.

November 11th, 2009
10:58 pm

The ACC is ranked #3, right behind the PAC-10. Sagarin the Savant says so.

GT GRAD

November 11th, 2009
10:59 pm

Excellent point by Delbert D.

On a given Saturday……………(as long as the referees let the players & coaches decide the outcome)

FSU & NC have been somewhat inconsistent, but both teams have solid players and can play some serious football if they show up.

How awesome would it be if FSU played the best game of the season against Florida to secure the upset and then Florida beats Alabama in the SEC Championship game. This would knock both out of the NC game…….sweet justice for all of the SEC attempts to keep both teams undefeated this year!!

Not very likely, but this scenario is possible.

perk

November 11th, 2009
10:59 pm

delbert: as you know – the ride is rough and bumpy. It ain’t fun!

PTC: again – enjoy it. PJ is bringing home the bacon for GT. everything goes in cycles.

Hope you guys are 10-1 going into the regular season finale

Winkin Blinkin and Nod

November 11th, 2009
11:00 pm

Ace, I actually have enjoyed watching GT this year. CPJ is a tremendous coach and every UGA fan I know (and I know a lot) have all the respect in the world for him. But the Jackets have their flaws and those flaws WILL be exposed this year. And this year, Ace is the present.

Delbert D.

November 11th, 2009
11:03 pm

GT GRAD – Remember the FSU-Miami game? It came down to one last pass in the end zone, just in front of the knees of the FSU receiver.

GT For You And Me

November 11th, 2009
11:04 pm

Why does any GA fan think we will have to beat Ga on Nov. 28. They will beat themselves!!!!

SEC OFFICIAL

November 11th, 2009
11:06 pm

Combined ACC/ SEC Rankings

Alabama/Florida- to be determined
LSU
GT
Clemson
Tennessee-(based on how they have played in the past 4 weeks)
VT( would be higher if they had not faltered late in the season)
Miami
South Carolina
Auburn
Arkansas
Ole Miss( if they played all their games at home-would be 7-2) it called POTENTIAL never realized
North Carolina
Wake Forest
Georgia- may move up a spot with a win on Saturday or drop down with a loss
Miss. St
Florida State
Kentucky
Duke
Boston College
Virginia
N.C. State
Vanderbilt( yes higher than Maryland)
Maryland

Delbert D.

November 11th, 2009
11:07 pm

Winkin – The flaw is the one all UGA opponents have: the cone of invincibility around AJ Green. May have to spot UGA 4 TDs on that one. I think he’s from Smallville, not Summerville.

News Flash

November 11th, 2009
11:08 pm

UGA and Tech are actually going to play. I know the hypothesizing is SO much fun but we can actually know for sure which has the better team. Please get a life…

willie martinez

November 11th, 2009
11:08 pm

i cant believe it. all these comments and none bashing me. finally the world sees my gifts.

willie martinez

November 11th, 2009
11:09 pm

del, lets just hope joe cox doesnt get a j killed going over the middle for a high pass thrown behind him.

Winkin Blinkin and Nod

November 11th, 2009
11:12 pm

Touche’, GT For You And Me. We UGA fans absolutely agree that we will probably beat ourselves. I am an empiricist (how’s that for a big word for a UGA fan). I believe that the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. That doesn’t bode well for my Dawgs.

However as Skip Caray said, “That’s why they play the game.”