The belief here is that Georgia Tech got good value from its season. No, 8-5 didn’t seem all that great when you consider the Jackets started 6-0, but 8-5 beat the heck out of 6-7, which is what Tech was in 2010. And now we turn to 2012, and some expect even bigger and better from the men of PJ.
Andy Staples of SI.com tabs Tech No. 25 in his lookahead, while Dave Miller of the National Football Post puts the Jackets at No. 20. That’s the good news. The bad: Similar early rankings from ESPN, CBS Sports and Yahoo! Sports do not include Georgia Tech in the Top 25.
I can see both sides. If guard Omoregie Uzzi chooses not to leave for the NFL, the Jackets will return 15 starters on offense and defense. That’s a goodly number. At the same time, I’m not sure how good those starters are. We take B-back David Sims as an example. He rushed for 698 yards in 2011. In both 2008 and 2008, B-back Jonathan Dwyer gained almost exactly twice that number of yards.
In Tech’s favor: The ACC, which had its usual dismal bowl showing, doesn’t look terribly imposing. (In a move not unlike the one made by Paul Johnson in January 2010, league champion Clemson just dumped its defensive coordinator.) That said, the Jackets have to play Clemson, Virginia Tech and Georgia on the road.
My early guess: Tech will be a better team, but the record might not reflect it. I can see the Jackets winning nine regular-season games in 2012. I’m not sure they can get to 10.
By Mark Bradley