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.
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.