Bradley’s Buzz: ESPN again picks against Tech and Johnson

Not the flavor of the month per Scouts Inc. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Not the flavor of the month per Scouts Inc. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

I’m not covering the Orange Bowl. I’ll be in Athens tonight watching Georgia and Georgia Tech play basketball. But I found it amusing to note that, once again, ESPN.com’s Scouts Inc. has picked against the Jackets (in football, not basketball).

A review (and all these links require registration): Scouts Inc. picked Miami over the Jackets in September and was correct; it picked Virginia Tech over GT in October and was incorrect;  it picked Clemson over the Jackets in September and also in the ACC title game and was twice wrong.  Now it likes Iowa to win 28-24 tonight. And that’s legit: This will be a difficult game for the Jackets, and a lot of people are picking against them.

What’s of greater interest is that Scouts Inc. again gives the edge in coaching to Tech’s opponent. And maybe that’s also fair: Kirk Ferentz is well regarded in the business. Scouts Inc. did the same for the Virginia Tech game — again, Frank Beamer is a proven commodity — but it also gave Clemson the nod in coaching for the ACC title game, and I can’t imagine too many folks see Dabo Swinney as more established than Paul Johnson. (Interestingly, Scouts Inc. rated Tech’s coaching as better than Clemson’s in September. Guess Dabo had a better season than Johnson.)

Maybe I’m being unfair: Scouts Inc. did pick Tech over Georgia and give Johnson the edge over Mark Richt. (Georgia won, as I recall.) But when I see a category breakdown so imbalanced — the Jackets are rated above Iowa at only three of eight positions (quarterback, running back and, interestingly enough, special teams) — you’d have to think the coach of the presumed lesser team has done something right to get his side to 11-2 and a BCS bowl.

And maybe this expression of non-love for PJ simply balances the scales: I’m aware that many among you (read: Georgia fans) believe we at the AJC have fallen all over ourselves in our admiration for the Tech coach. And I’ll concede to a bit — OK, maybe more than a bit — of gushing on my part. Still, I think the man has done a fabulous job. He’s 20-6 in two seasons and has won his conference. As I recall, we around here also sang the praises of Richt when he went 21-5 and won his league in his first two years on the job.

But enough of that. I close with two notes: Scouts Inc. isn’t to be confused with ESPN’s ACC blogger Heather Dinich, who has also picked against the Jackets a few times but likes Tech tonight. (Also by the score of 28-24.) And Mr. Always Wrong — that’d be me — likes the Jackets to win twice this evening. First at the Stegasaurus, then at Land Shark Stadium.

349 comments Add your comment

bdawg

January 5th, 2010
11:29 am

first! GGGGGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOO HAWKEYES!

wesleywhatwhat

January 5th, 2010
11:32 am

jackets will roll in the second half

gojackets

January 5th, 2010
11:33 am

Go Jackets!!!

WonderDawg

January 5th, 2010
11:35 am

It is amusing, Mark. It’s just that Big 10 bias that a lot of ESPN guys have. Now it gets worse because Ohio State finally won the Rose Bowl again …… Go Jackets!

HellsBells

January 5th, 2010
11:35 am

Come on Mark! 11-2…they’re in the ACC. Winning the ACC is akin to being the cleanest pig in the sty. They can’t even beat 7-5 SEC teams.

Dry Eyes

January 5th, 2010
11:36 am

Go Jackets!!!!!!!!!!!!

WE RUN THIS STATE

January 5th, 2010
11:37 am

Enter your comments here

Nick

January 5th, 2010
11:38 am

Who cares what the neighbors say?
Go Jackets!

Nick

January 5th, 2010
11:40 am

HellsBells,
Thanks for cleaning our pig. Now go clean the sty.

kt

January 5th, 2010
11:43 am

I happen to agree with ESPN’s take on this on. Iowa has good defense. Something that GA tach is not used to facing. Also, Tech’s defense is PATHETIC! Iowas has their starting QB back and should roll right over the jackets feeble defense.

Iowa 24 Tech 10

Marcus

January 5th, 2010
11:44 am

8 out of 9 nerds! Will you terrorists be putting the UGA score on your rings again this year?

ARE YOU STUPID? JUST PUNCH"EM

January 5th, 2010
11:44 am

Jackets will roll alright….ROLLOVER that is! To heck with teck!

heartofdarkness

January 5th, 2010
11:45 am

I notice “WE RUN THIS STATE” is anonymous. Wise man (or lady).

Hysterical

January 5th, 2010
11:46 am

Tech is 7-5 playing Georgia schedule

DawgMan

January 5th, 2010
11:46 am

We rund this state.

HellsBells

January 5th, 2010
11:46 am

Truth hurt Nickypoo?

Matthew

January 5th, 2010
11:47 am

WE RUN THIS STATE

Doug S.

January 5th, 2010
11:47 am

Always some UGA whiner to come along and throw the Buckeyes into his argument. Get a life and a football team.

Tech will have all that they want and more, tonight. If Iowa’s QB is 100%, they will win in a close one.

ONE AND EIGHT,WE RUN THIS STATE

January 5th, 2010
11:48 am

collegeballfan

January 5th, 2010
11:48 am

A lot of this is the perception that Tech plays in an inferior conference. And there is a lot of truth to that. I am a Tech fan but I can understand picking against an ACC team.

I do not have a good feeling about this game. The Tech defense rules out a low scoring game with Tech as the winner.

Fear The Nerd

January 5th, 2010
11:49 am

Kentucky Runs This State

Does the body good

January 5th, 2010
11:49 am

HEY TECH FANS, DON’T FORGET TO TUNE IN TO THE GAME TONIGHT WHILE NURSING A NICE, HOT BOWL OF…

30-24!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

January 5th, 2010
11:50 am

the hype and build up of the game will be too much for the jackets to handle. close game but hawkeyes come out with a W

LHardingDawg

January 5th, 2010
11:50 am

Here’s wishing Tech the best of luck in tonight’s game. With a win you will make the state of Georgia proud. The Dawgs beating a team from Texas and Tech beating a team from Iowa. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t get any better.

Does the body good

January 5th, 2010
11:51 am

HEY TECH FANS, DON’T FORGET TO TUNE IN TO THE GAME TONIGHT WHILE NURSING A NICE, HOT BOWL OF…

30-24!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

F-105 Thunderchief

January 5th, 2010
11:51 am

The pickers are being influenced by those Steelers-looking unis. Big Ben will not be there. But, then again, Tech’s defense hasn’t shown up for most of the season. Tech in a close one.

MR

January 5th, 2010
11:54 am

HellsBells, How was Shreveport dumb ass. It is dawg fans like you that make it so easy to hate UGA.

ATLBUZZZZZ

January 5th, 2010
11:55 am

Hey,
We lost the practice game before the big dance but at least we still have money to go out after the dance!!!!!!
INDEPENDENCE BOWL – $1.4 Million
ORANGE BOWL – $14 Million
GO JACKETS!!!!!

Art Vandelay

January 5th, 2010
11:55 am

So what exactly is at stake in this game again? Oh yea, to be ranked behind Boise State and Ohio State or behind Virginia Tech and Wisconsin.

MR

January 5th, 2010
11:56 am

Another stupid dawg fan heard from….’kt’

Dawg Days

January 5th, 2010
11:57 am

“believe” we at the AJC have fallen all over ourselves in our admiration for the Tech coach.” Mark, believe is not the correct word here, because its not an opinion, it’s fact based on your printed words and your own admission.

ESPN is picking Iowa for all the right reasons, and its not a coaching attack on PJ. Maybe its because Tech has a pattern of choking during big games. aka Miami and UGA this year. Or maybe they looked at last years stellar performance last year in the Peach bowl against LSU. Was PJ the coach then???
This is a stage GT is not accustom to, backed up by recent AJC articles stating you have to go back to pre WWII days for an Orange Bowl appearance.

If GT wins and makes a habit of doing so, then ESPN will give the respect it deserves, until then, it’s just more whining on your part.

LHardingDawg

January 5th, 2010
11:58 am

Here’s a Dawg fan wishing Tech a lot of luck in tonight’s game. With a win by Tech, the state of Georgia can be proud to have state teams beating both Texas and Iowa teams.

EW

January 5th, 2010
12:02 pm

Um, tell me again why we care who ESPN picks? Especially when their track record of picking GT’s games is obviously meaningless.

MR

January 5th, 2010
12:03 pm

Oh yes, you are the champions of the state of ga. How is that working for you come bowl time? Nothing spectacular about this state ranked 49 our 50 over all, and I was born here. The state championship is the only championship the dawgs have any chance of winning. Hell, you beat Auburn and they got a better bowl. You get a lot of respect in the SEC behind Ala, Auburn, LSU, Fla, Tenn, and Kentucky.

West Coast Bias

January 5th, 2010
12:05 pm

GT fans, please try to live in reality- congrats and good luck in your bowl game but you need to understand that these are two regional powers who have no national cache. This will be the lowest rated of all the BCS Bowl games this year- including last night’s Boise State v TCU matchup. The most interesting part of this game is how Iowa’s defense will play against GT’s gimmick offense given several weeks to prepare. If they still can’t stop GT with all that time to prepare- kudos to Paul Johnson.

Does the body good

January 5th, 2010
12:05 pm

HEY MR, LOOKS LIKE YOU STILL HAVE A CASE OF THE SOUR GRAPES! NOT TO WORRY, I HAVE THE PERFECT REMEDY! A NICE, HOT BOWL OF…

30-24!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

HellsBells

January 5th, 2010
12:05 pm

If GT were in the SEC they’d be Vandy.

W

January 5th, 2010
12:05 pm

hey ATLBuzz, how many big bowl games have ya’ll been in the past couple of years? I believe we were in the Capital One, the Chick-Fil-A bowl, and the Sugar bowl TWICE. What were you guys in? Emerald, Humanitarian, and Gator… yeah, this is your best year without a doubt, but keep in mind that GEORGIA football has been raking in the money for years.

WE RUN THIS STATE. GO DAWGS

Lowcountry Bulldawg

January 5th, 2010
12:06 pm

This will be the least viewed out of the BCS games. This is a terrible matchup and will make for terrible television.

NCR

January 5th, 2010
12:06 pm

Iowa has a great passing defense, but just average (30th nationally) run defense. That will pose problems for them over the length of the game. Tech will probably only throw 10 times max the whole game. Tech will generate at least 250 yards rushing. That’s enough for at least 21 points.

Assuming no major turnovers, Tech will win by 7.

HellsBells

January 5th, 2010
12:06 pm

If GT beats Iowa at least for once they’ve actually done something. Not much…but something. That’s a start. Now if they can just learn to beat 7-5 SEC teams.

Luther

January 5th, 2010
12:07 pm

Hey Mark, didnt YOU picked against UGA when they played GT? Go figure YOU would try to jump on GT’s wagon here…

Bizzy Bone

January 5th, 2010
12:07 pm

Iowa has had a month to prepare for the high school option. Iowa 31, Tech 10

MR

January 5th, 2010
12:10 pm

Hey Dawg Days,
No way you are a dawg fan. Your blog makes some sense. I am not sure you are correct about the choking. I think there were reasons Tech lost to Mia and not all of it had to do with coaching and talent. As far as UGA, there should have been enough incentive to win that one but UGA had the better game plan and executed it perfectly. Something they had not done all year. GT will be just fine in the future. they will win ballgames and they will lose ballgames. Mark is corret, the AJC had it’s nose for far up CMR arse his frist to years that if he stopped real quick they would have broken their neck.

Saint Simons' got nothing on me.

January 5th, 2010
12:10 pm

30-24 hahahahahahahahahahahaha

Fear The Nerd

January 5th, 2010
12:11 pm

1-3 against ranked opponents this year….yikes.

arf

Flip flop those #’s and you have the same stats for your older, smarter brother.

You Run My Mower

Saint Simons' got nothing on me.

January 5th, 2010
12:11 pm

Tech still wins tonight. The Big 10 is still slow and plodding.

Pitiful UGA

January 5th, 2010
12:12 pm

Tech lost to a bad UGA team looking ahead to Clemson. Tonight, GT33-Iowa20.

Hey DAWG fans…which BCS bowl did you play in????

MR

January 5th, 2010
12:14 pm

Hey HellsBells, I thought school was back in session. Holidays are over. What are doing home today? You were not 7-5 when you beat Tech, you were 6-5. Get your numbers correct. Tech was 10-1 and had a championship game coming up the next week. I will take that and give you the state championship any day.

Mark Bradley

January 5th, 2010
12:14 pm

If Tech gets 35 points on Iowa … well, I’ll have to say more nice stuff about the Tech coach.