Tech to finish third in the ACC Coastal? Sounds about right

Derrick Morgan and Morgan Burnett will play on Sundays now. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Derrick Morgan and Morgan Burnett play on Sundays now. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

I may be crazy — folks, there’s your opening — but on one issue I’m not alone in my nuttiness. Earlier this summer I picked Georgia Tech to finish third in the ACC Coastal Division. On Monday the conference media assembled in Greensboro picked Tech to finish …

Third in the ACC Coastal Division.

Like me, the ACC voters have Virginia Tech and Florida State winning the league’s divisions. Unlike me, the ACC voters had Miami finishing second in the Coastal, with North Carolina fourth. I had it the other way around. (Although Carolina now has agent issues, which is no small consideration.)

My rationale, such as it is, on the Jackets: They’ll be good, just not quite as good, and the Coastal will be better. (I see the Coastal as the roughest division in college football. This includes the SEC East and the SEC West.) Georgia Tech must visit North Carolina and Virginia Tech this fall, and those are two games the Jackets won at home en route to the 2009 ACC championship.

And the effect of the four juniors lost to the NFL cannot be overridden in one offseason. Tech was a fine team last season but not an especially deep one — except at running back; the Jackets have lots of those — and even if Anthony Allen is nearly as good as Jonathan Dwyer I see no one on this roster who can do as Derrick Morgan and Demaryius Thomas did.

But I could be wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time. (That’s yet another opening, folks.) But at least on this issue I’m not the Lone Ranger. I find this oddly comforting.

172 comments Add your comment

TP

July 27th, 2010
8:41 am

Mark Bradley

July 27th, 2010
8:44 am

ACC better than SEC

July 27th, 2010
8:50 am

Toughest division in college football…agreed…take that SEC football freaks…and we are smarter also.

justdhoo

July 27th, 2010
8:50 am

If anyone other than Paul Johnson was coaching this team, I would probably agree with you. But until he does worse than first in the Coastal (2 for 2, given one was a tie), I have confidence he can do it again. GO JACKETS!!!!

JDHGT

July 27th, 2010
8:52 am

Given all of the unknowns on the Jackets, I think third is where we should be going into the season. That’s coming from an alum and diehard fan. I also agree with your estimation that the ACC Coastal is the toughest division in the FBS…should make for a great season!

the real Old Gold

July 27th, 2010
8:52 am

I guess there’s no need to play the games. Saved us all some gas money.

Bill King is a..............

July 27th, 2010
8:54 am

Mark,

The coastal division might be a really tough one for the teams that are in it. Just wait for the few games that have the SEC vs Acc. The SEC will prove once again how much more superior(did i spell that right) of a conference it is to the acc. FSU hasnt proved anything yet. They look good on paper, but they really havent done anything.

And i know you dont want to accept it, but UGA will be head and shoulders above where they were last year. We have the talent and now we have the coaching to go with it. Watchout for us, my friend.

Mark Bradley

July 27th, 2010
8:54 am

That’s correct, the real Old Gold. We in the media do this as a money-saving gesture to you, the fans.

F-105 Thunderchief

July 27th, 2010
8:54 am

I actually think there is some chance Tech could be slightly better, because of the addition of Al Groh. It’s a small chance, because losing the Morgans is a pretty big hit on defense. There’s a better chance they’ll be just as good as last year. That said, with the improvement in other programs, both of these things could be true without Tech being able to repeat as champions. The least likely event is Tech is demonstrably weaker than last year. But, it could happen. My prediction is they’ll be about as good as last year without finishing first.

Mark Bradley

July 27th, 2010
8:56 am

Groh is the key, F-105. I’d agree there.

Vandy Jacket

July 27th, 2010
8:56 am

I’m an SEC fan and an ACC fan, but it is unarguable that the ACC Coastal is the toughest division in football. Good call Bradley, four extremely tough teams. Not four above average team. Four extremely tough teams.

Mark Bradley

July 27th, 2010
8:57 am

I picked Georgia to go 9-3. I do think the Bulldogs will better this time.

Glory Glory

July 27th, 2010
8:57 am

WHY IS THERE NOT A SINGLE WRITE UP ABOUT TECH DE, ROBERT HALL, SUSPENDED A MEASLY SINGLE GAME FOR BEATINGUP HIS GIRLFRIEND!!!!!

If he was a UGA player, Bradley would have 8 or 9 articles about it today.

BugKiller

July 27th, 2010
8:58 am

Notice Mark said toughest.

Not best. Not most talented. Just toughest.

Which means in the SEC West, which is the BEST collection of talented football teams, there’s really 3, maybe 4 challengers.

In the ACC Coastal, there’s 4 or 5. Doesn’t mean there’s more talent there. Just means there’s more teams all close together fighting it out. Kind of like in the NFC East. I’m sick of that ESPN blogger calling his beat the “Beast,” just because all of the teams are equally mediocre.

Kind of like in the ACC. They’re all equally mediocre (enough to be STOMPED by a Big-ZERO team in a BCS Bowl).

The 4th-best team in the SEC West (LSU) is going to wipe the floor with one of the ACC contenders to begin the season. So what does that say?

You people aren’t quite so smart, in that your reading comprehension skills leave a lot to be desired. Read what’s on the page, and don’t make so many assumptions based upon your own personal biases.

yeller skeeters are peter eaters

July 27th, 2010
8:58 am

The honey bees won’t win a game all year, sorry teck!

Bill King is a..............

July 27th, 2010
8:59 am

Justdhoo……………..Paul is better than what ya’ll had. However, teams have caught up to that highschool offense that he runs. Once again, ya’ll will win your 6/7 games in the ACC and the cupcake games. Then, that last game of the year will be same ol song and dance. UGA will prevail for the 9th outta 10 consecutive years. As quoted from one media outlet…is not even the favorite team in its own city. Hehe

JDHGT

July 27th, 2010
8:59 am

I absolutely agree, F-105. I don’t think there will be a tremendous downturn in performance, but I do think that Tech may lose some of the close games they won last year. The key difference is that last year most of the tough games were at home; whereas, this year they are on the road.

[...] Source [...]

JDHGT

July 27th, 2010
9:01 am

Vandy Jacket,

I am currently a “Vandy Jacket.” Are you in school up here (Vanderbilt)? If so, what program?

MatthewH

July 27th, 2010
9:02 am

Even though he has been on staff, I think that FSU having a new coach will hurt. Then again, how much coaching did Bowden do anyway?

Vandy Jacket

July 27th, 2010
9:04 am

Hey JDHGT,

Graduated last year from Vanderbilt, my dad went to Tech. Season ticket holder for Tech. Been a Jacket my whole life, still am, just went to Vandy for school.

NoShamSam

July 27th, 2010
9:06 am

It’s fun to talk back and forth, but we REALLY won’t know until the 1st 3-4 games.

CarolinaJacket

July 27th, 2010
9:08 am

I think a major thing that will help determine their success is Jackson’s health. Any news on this? I believe that he is the best defensive player and will be a monster with this new defense if healthy.

ormewood

July 27th, 2010
9:08 am

BugKiller, calling LSU the fourth-best team in the SEC West is very debatable. They might be the second-best. And don’t be so sure that they are going ‘to wipe the floor” with UNC. These are your personal biases.

Mark Bradley

July 27th, 2010
9:09 am

That’s the question, MatthewH.

Glory Glory

July 27th, 2010
9:09 am

Doug the Jacket

July 27th, 2010
9:12 am

Wrong again, and again and again.

Glory Glory

July 27th, 2010
9:14 am

BY FAR the best video YouTube has EVER produced…….

Dear Tech “fans”……

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TsUPXUNAmY

{{{{{30-24}}}}}

George Stein

July 27th, 2010
9:16 am

I think a 3rd place pick is fair even if I hope it’s wrong. I expect Tech to be just as good as last year or even better. But that might not mean more wins. The offense will be just fine. As long is the defense can go from wretched to just bad Tech will win a lot of its ballgames.

And BugKiller has done something actually pretty smart. He has already dismissed LSU as an also-ran in the SEC. He then elevates UNC to contender in the ACC. This makes the SEC completely insulated from any criticism if they lose the game because either 4th place LSU beat contender Carolina or contender Carolina’s win doesn’t mean anything because it was against 4th place LSU. So just ignore him because he’s too scared to stick his neck out there.

NoShamSam

July 27th, 2010
9:17 am

This LOW CLASS tech-uga thing REALLY gets old…fast…can’t you wait until the middle of the season?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Bradley, Justin Tsay. Justin Tsay said: Typical writing. no risks taken, no substance RT @MarkBradleyAJC: #GT picked to finish third in the #ACC Coastal? http://bit.ly/9Tjg1D [...]

Ted M

July 27th, 2010
9:23 am

Anthony Allen is going to be better then JD perhaps much better. JD sucked at everything at the combine. He excelled because of CPJ.

Not Disappointed!

July 27th, 2010
9:24 am

I’m with the “the real Old Gold!” We should all stay home now and wait until next year. LOL!

Go Jackets!

GT/Dawg

July 27th, 2010
9:24 am

I believe both teams will be good , hope so. We have a son at GT and a daughter at UGA so we pull for both.

Thrash223

July 27th, 2010
9:25 am

Good write-up Mark and I would agree on paper that is where our current program state puts us. VT is a perennial contender. Miami has the reputation for being a top tier team and UNC has potential.

My issues with both UNC and Miami – neither has done anything in the past 5 seasons to let me know they are a program that can make it through the Coastal’s gauntlet to the title game. I’m not sure Miami has the staff to make it happen. I’m not sure UNC has an offense that can make it happen.

Without question, GT’s program is not as established as VT… yet.

But, Paul Johnson’s wants to get there and has already started laying that path. I believe he will continue that building process this season. I have a feeling that despite what GT is on paper, he will make sure that the Jackets are in the mix for another ACCCG by seasons end.

NoShamSam

July 27th, 2010
9:26 am

Good for you GT/Dawg…you can’t lose the final game…great tactic!!

Vandy Jacket

July 27th, 2010
9:27 am

Hey GT/Dawg, so you have a smart son, and a dumb daughter?

RAMBLE ON!!!

July 27th, 2010
9:28 am

Mark, Stephen Hill will make everyone soon forget about D. Thomas.

Don

July 27th, 2010
9:28 am

Yeah you’ll be wrong as usual mark. Allow CPJ to make you media fools look like morons once again.
Btw, thanks for putting your hex on the braves.

Igloo

July 27th, 2010
9:30 am

Funny how you leave out one important aspect being Al Groh is the new DC. So what happens Mark if we score 3 less points per game this year but the defense gives up 7 less? real tough

Russ, the Temporary Mascot

July 27th, 2010
9:32 am

I was third in mascot consideration and look what happened to me! The topside was being selected as Temporary Mascot. The bottomside was painted white. What kind of school paints a little dog’s a$$?

Mark Bradley

July 27th, 2010
9:32 am

Obviously Paul Johnson made me look like a moron last season when I picked Georgia Tech to go 10-2 and win the ACC.

NoShamSam

July 27th, 2010
9:32 am

Got to go…another realistic article Mark…good job…as usual

FalconUGAFan

July 27th, 2010
9:33 am

I hope you GT fans are proud of Vandy Jacket….

Glory Glory

July 27th, 2010
9:34 am

Al Groh……. the same man you Tech Nerds are excited about, who also was FIRED by…. Virginia?? last year….. hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

Al Groh = the Dick Cheney of college football

Don

July 27th, 2010
9:37 am

Nice grammar Mark.

What did you do in previous years Mark?
10% is not a good success rate moron.

JDHGT

July 27th, 2010
9:39 am

What’s a grammar Mark?

Ralph

July 27th, 2010
9:39 am

The seasoning of Nesbitt, and maybe a little more passing might make up for the losses to the NFL. Another year of learning, adding onto, and practicing the CJ offense has got to help. The new defensive strategy is an obvious question mark. Others will be surprise standouts on offense and defense – just like every year as college athletes develop. Seems like there is a real back-up QB from the Spring practices.

Mark, as you say, winning at VA Tech and/or Carolina will be key games. I predict 1st or 2nd in the toughest half conference in the nation which could make Tech a BCS team.

Billy Bob

July 27th, 2010
9:40 am

I could argue that your right or I could argue the other side. Lot’s of variables. Tech fans have the benefit of trusting Paul Johnson to continue to excel. Who’s ready for some football?

Jesse Stone

July 27th, 2010
9:40 am

UGA fans- why are you on a Bradley blog discussing Tech and the ACC? Are you going to give the 3rd grade excuse of “well…some GT fans are on our blog”?