Will Georgia Tech be a Top 25 team in 2012? Some say yes

How it ended for Georgia Tech in 2011: Utah scores in overtime. (AP photo)

Here's how it ended for Georgia Tech in 2011: Utah scores to win in overtime. (AP photo)

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

266 comments Add your comment

T-Bone

January 13th, 2012
8:04 am

Mark Bradley

January 13th, 2012
8:05 am

You are, T-Bone. Kudos.

T-Bone

January 13th, 2012
8:06 am

Cool, a rare first!

Now to a comment: I think I agree with you , Mark. To me next year will be a tell-tale year for CPJ. If he opens the competition for QB up and somebody steps and makes progress in the passing game, the Jackets will fare better. I expect the defense and the special teams to get better . . . because they have to.

ormewood

January 13th, 2012
8:11 am

Who’s going to be the QB? Will there be a viable threat in the passing game? Road schedule is difficult. I’m thinking another 8-5 season.

Buckeye

January 13th, 2012
8:12 am

Don’t know that but I know the dogs are #1 right now!

Buckeye

January 13th, 2012
8:12 am

Urban sends his kindest regards……………..

BBQ MAN

January 13th, 2012
8:13 am

first Love the Jackets and pull for them to win all games, but top 25? I wish! IF the defense steps up, I see8- 9 wins as probable and 10 possible with an upset or two.
This WILL BE PJ’s last chance to beat either uga or win a bowl. got to do at least one

Gorilla Biscuit

January 13th, 2012
8:15 am

Middle Georgia Tech State University top 25? If 8-5 and poor recruiting will get you there. Besides Al Groh and Tevin Washington return, so there’s that.

dan the nerd

January 13th, 2012
8:16 am

Wow. MB really going out on a limb with this one.

The reality is that GT won 8 games in 2011 and didn’t win any close ones – UVA/VT. GT has an easier schedule and they may have an upgrade at QB. 9 wins is a very realistic goal and 10 would be a good season. They should not win fewer than 9. But they probably will.

UGA has an easier schedule next year (how is that possible?) and should win the east again. The reality is that they will not be any better than 2011 and will lose the Championship game by 30+.

At least we have an onother season of Natty Ice to look forward to…

Birmingham Jacket

January 13th, 2012
8:20 am

Andy Staples and Dave Miller obviously didn’t watch much Georgia Tech football this year.

Top 25 teams have defenses that can make a stop. We don’t. Our defense looks like Kansas or Duke.

Top 25 teams have a QB that can complete a forward pass. We don’t. There are highschool teams that throw the ball better.

Top 25 teams don’t sign recruiting classes that never finish in the top 25.

Top 25 teams have field goal kickers that can make most kicks inside 40 yds. We don’t.

Top 25 teams don’t have special teams that lose games despite an otherwise good showing from the offense and defense. We do.

RedandBlackDAWG

January 13th, 2012
8:25 am

Buckeye,

I think you should be on a OSU board trying to drum up some money for your CB’s fines, shouldn’t you. I hear he also needs money to buy another air gun, so he can shoot from the top of another building and think it is fun. At least that way, your team will be on top of something.

KBP

January 13th, 2012
8:26 am

If Tech can consistently win 9 regular season games 3 out of 4 years, then they should give Paul Johnson a Paul Hewittt contract!

RedandBlackDAWG

January 13th, 2012
8:26 am

It looks like to me, if GT can improve their defense, they should be in pretty good shape in the ACC.

ty webb

January 13th, 2012
8:30 am

Johnson has never won a championship at tech…so there really is no comparison with Clemson and the firing of their DC after a championship.

UGA = Yawn

January 13th, 2012
8:32 am

Stop saying 8-5 is good considering 6-7 from the year earlier. 7 straight bowl losses. 1-3 for Johnsone vs Va Tech. 1-3 vs UGA. Started the season 6-0. It was a HORRIBLE season!!!

Jacket1985

January 13th, 2012
8:34 am

Birmingham Jacket – I think you hit the nail on the head…

UGA = Yawn

January 13th, 2012
8:34 am

Redandblack, leave Buckeye alone. Urban will be a super star at OSU and he will have at the top in no time. You, of all people, should realize that after what he did yearly to UGA. And PS: Spurrier too!

bamaguy

January 13th, 2012
8:35 am

Stanford has proven you can be a top academic school and still field a championship caliber football team. Tech and Vanderbilt should use Stanford as a blueprint. I think Vandy is already on their way.

Hal

January 13th, 2012
8:37 am

The defense must improve big time. We have to get a pass rush. The offense will be much better next year than this year.

dtanner

January 13th, 2012
8:39 am

somehow tech got sold on this hillbilly mountain man with the high school offense,plus the guy is a real no personality jerk, when they finally do wise up and run him off,the program will be set back for years

Tech Man

January 13th, 2012
8:41 am

We need two things (1) a defense that can stop at least Wofford College and (2) a kicking game that at least is on a high school level. If we get those two things we might win 8 games next year.

Technically Correct

January 13th, 2012
8:42 am

As usual, the two big factors are the linemen on both sides of the ball and the QB. For Tech to be better, it must maintain the level of OL play – and that will be impacted by the presence or absence of Uzzi – and must get better on the DL and at QB.

Rodney Dangerfield

January 13th, 2012
8:43 am

Wow Birmingham Jacket – woe is me! I’m glad I don’t have your outlook.

KBP – No coach should ever have that contract.

DawgFan

January 13th, 2012
8:43 am

I really do wish Tech could put together an impressive season. Then it’ll make Georgia look that much better when the Dawgs beat down the Jackets.

Doug the Jacket

January 13th, 2012
8:43 am

I’ll be there.

Rodney Dangerfield

January 13th, 2012
8:45 am

Bear Bryant was a hill billy jerk too!

UGA = Yawn

January 13th, 2012
8:47 am

RD, right on! Plus, we beat the Bear the last time he played Tech!!!

RedandBlackDAWG

January 13th, 2012
8:49 am

UGA=Yawn,

AKA Buckeye, how stupid can you get. Another 15 year old , faking sickness so you can stay home and play on your computer. You are indeed a jerk.

ormewood

January 13th, 2012
8:53 am

ty webb, tech won the ACC championship three years ago, so the comparison is valid.

JM

January 13th, 2012
8:53 am

bamaguy, Stanford isn’t your normal “top academic school” when it comes to athletics. Yes, they are a top academic institution, but they also have majors that cater to athletes who usually wouldn’t be admitted into the school. (See: PE)

ty webb

January 13th, 2012
8:57 am

“tech won the ACC championship three years ago,”

False.

Anti-Bradley

January 13th, 2012
8:58 am

We don’t need your charity Bradley.

Anti-Bradley

January 13th, 2012
8:58 am

@ty-webb

You’re an idiot

ty webb

January 13th, 2012
9:00 am

“You’re an idiot”

Maybe so, but a Paul Johnson coached team at tech still hasn’t won an ACC championship.

Gorilla Biscuit

January 13th, 2012
9:03 am

“Bear Bryant was a hill billy jerk too!”

The Bear wouldn’t be the Bear in today’s college football environment, what with restrictions on scholarships.

Wait, what am I saying. Where Nick Satan merely thumbs his nose at the SEC’s and NCAA’s scholarship limits, the Bear would pull down his pants, bend over, and pat his ass.

GT Jake 1993

January 13th, 2012
9:04 am

@Birmingham Jacket: Good insight!

Steve

January 13th, 2012
9:06 am

The funny thing about the bees is that they are happy with 8 or 9 wins every year. That cracks me up. When was the last time Tech got any hype and started the season in the top 5 or 10? Tech will never matter! Besdies that fluke season in 1990, what have they done?

Dirty Harry

January 13th, 2012
9:11 am

In Division II, maybe.

cltgtfan

January 13th, 2012
9:12 am

GT will not take the next level without an offense that can hurt people with the pass. Either Tevin must get more consistent or maybe Vad Lee can live up to the hype about him.

Fan of gt

January 13th, 2012
9:13 am

It all hinges on the qb. Got some guys with a lot of potential coming in. That will be the key. If we find one that finally takes this offense to the next level, then 10+ wins will happen. Defense improved last year and will be better in 12.

Jacket Dad

January 13th, 2012
9:13 am

Agree that next year is make or break for Johnson. I do think he’s the right fit for Tech, if he would recognize he’s got to modify his approach. Need better quarterback who can also pass consistently along with a modified offensive plan that utilizes more short passes, more solid linemen on both sides of the ball, and need a new defensive coordinator – someone who has passion and energy. Of course, until he recognizes the huge hole our special teams put us in on many occassions, it’s not going to matter what the offense and defense do.

In spite of the concerns/needs, I will continue to support my Jackets and wish them the best for 2012!

WUZZADAWG

January 13th, 2012
9:13 am

When was the last time we(UGA) started the season in the top 5 and finished there?

Anti-Bradley

January 13th, 2012
9:14 am

@ty-webb

A Paul Johnson coached team did win an ACC Championship. I assume you are claiming that because the NCAA does not currently recognize it does not count. Quite pathetic on your part.

Sean

January 13th, 2012
9:15 am

hey steve winning a nat champ is never a fluke you idiot. and as for your team, 31 years and counting.

Jacket Alum from way back

January 13th, 2012
9:15 am

Hey Steve — at least our “fluke” season was 10 years since the puppy dogs last one……

yellow britches

January 13th, 2012
9:16 am

Time always affords the opportunity for perspective. Looking back it appears obvious that Paul Hewitt and Chan Gailey were much better recruiters than they were game day coaches. Chans players rarely if ever got better under his tutelage. Same for Hewitt. The talent pool assembled by those coaches would have indicated better records. Now, we may be facing exactly the opposite problem. Johnson can coach and his players do get better but he hasn’t shown the ability to snag or attract players who can compete at the highest levels. Coach Gregory shows what a coach can do with a moribund program. We can compete and win on the road in the ACC which never happened.

Anti-Bradley

January 13th, 2012
9:17 am

@Steve what has any major D1 football program “done” besides Bama, USC, Michigan, and a handful of other teams? 90% of schools don’t reach your bar. GT has 4 national championships, Dodd, Heisman, and a numerous SEC and ACC championships.

Steve

January 13th, 2012
9:19 am

Hey “Wuzzadawg,” it’s all about where you finish, not where you start. I was simply asking a question. For UGA:

2002 – #3
2003 – #6
2004 – #6
2005 – #10
2006 – #23
2007 – #2
2008 – #10

And Tech??

MisterT

January 13th, 2012
9:21 am

I was encouraged to see a few plays run from the shotgun in the Sun Bowl. Although I don’t seem to remember much coming from that. It could definitely add some flexibility and balance to the offense. I think either Vad Lee or Justin Thomas could put pressure on Tevin to keep his job. Thomas is likely a year or two away from game ready in the CPJ version of the spread option.

I think WVU showed that a more balanced option attack can be lethal.

THWg!

CT_Jacket

January 13th, 2012
9:21 am

With UNC, Clemson, VT and UGA on the road, they will be doing well to go 2-2. BYU, almost a top 25 team, is an upgrade over Kansas on the home schedule. Miami has recently given us fits with their athletic DL. If they went 8-4 again, that would be a very good season. I hope Lee earns the QB spot with a sharp passing game so that in 2013, with a more favorable schedule and a little more experience on a young DL and a very experience secondary, we would be poised for a very good season.