Georgia Tech is headed to Charlotte, and FSU better take note

Three cheers for the Charlotte-bound Jackets. (Hyosub Shin/AJC photo)

Three cheers for the Charlotte-bound Jackets. (Hyosub Shin/AJC photo)

Three cheers for the Charlotte-bound Jackets. (Hyosub Shin/AJC photo)

Three cheers for the Charlotte-bound Jackets. (Hyosub Shin/AJC photo)

On Sept. 14, Georgia Tech was 3-0 and received nary a vote in either the Associated Press or USA Today  polls. Think about that. Of the 121 ballots cast that weekend, not one voter considered the Jackets even the 25th-best team in the land.

On Sept. 20, the Jackets went to Blacksburg, where they hadn’t won since Chan Gailey was their coach, and won on a last-second field goal. This brought them some measure of attention, but not all that much. In both polls released the next day, Tech ranked 33rd.

On Oct. 5, the Jackets made it into the Top 25 of both. (They were 5-0, having followed their victory at Virginia Tech by beating Miami here.) They stayed six days, losing at home to Duke. Then they lost to North Carolina. On Oct. 19, Georgia Tech was back where it started, which was to say nowhere: In the polls released that day, the Jackets drew — stop me if you’ve heard this one before — no votes.

It wasn’t until Nov. 9 — not quite two weeks ago — that Tech nuzzled back into the Top 25 of the two polls, and by then it was 8-2. Which is a very long-winded way of saying: It took the Jackets an unusually long time to get noticed, but now there’s no escaping them.

With Duke’s emphatic home loss to North Carolina on Thursday night, Georgia Tech is headed to Charlotte to play Florida State for the ACC championship on Dec. 6. And, unlike in 2012, there’s no asterisk attached. These Jackets won the Coastal free and clear.

We can quibble about Tech’s schedule — they’ve played one ranked team, and the one (Clemson) is always the ranked team you’d most like to play — but we cannot quibble with the results. Provided it doesn’t finish 0-3, Tech will notch 10 wins for the first time since 2009 and only the fourth time since 1956.

And to think: This team was picked fifth in the seven-team Coastal Division. (Full disclosure: I tabbed the Jackets to go 7-5.) But these Jackets won enough close games early (Georgia Southern, Virginia Tech) to put them in position to roll when the schedule softened. Of the past last four victories, the closest has been by 22 points.

It would wrong to call this a great team, but its offense has been much better with Justin Thomas at quarterback than with Vad Lee or Tevin Washington, and its defense has developed the knack of turning turnovers into points. I’d be lying if I said I think the Jackets will beat Georgia on Nov. 29 — I still see the talent differential as too vast — but I believe a great opportunity will await in Charlotte.

Florida State has acted bored all season: It doesn’t start playing until it’s two touchdowns behind. If the Seminoles try that against a team that can control the ball and the clock via the run, they’ll get four touchdowns behind and they’ll lose. It would be no great shock if the team that took forever to get noticed is the one to deal FSU its first loss since Nov. 24, 2012.

Reader Comments 2

276 comments
GTFan007
GTFan007

So... WE (Georgia Tech) Beat UGA today IN Athens!! Go Jackets! On to Charlotte to defeat the FSU Seminoles! GT is a very underrated and very under appreciated team and also has one of THE best coaches in College Football today with Paul Johnson (who has repeatedly turned down NFL coaching offers). The Game today was played hard and fought well by both teams but my Yellow Jackets came out on a well deserving top. Stung Em!

grh0317
grh0317

That is correct Bradley and headed as division champions.

GT will play our biggest game of the year against the National

Champion Florida State Seminoles. The UGA game means

very little  by comparison, but the ACC title, now we are talking Bradley..

Paul Johnson says "shove it" Bradley on you're weak 7-5 prediction

for GT.. Paul Johnson gets to you some doesn't he? Look you

always have Richt and the underperforming dogs. 

HuckFinn1835
HuckFinn1835

Who's smarter than a third grader? ..You won't find your answer in Athens.

HuckFinn1835
HuckFinn1835

UGA is proof that you can attract five star athletes with nothing more than splendid mediocrity.

HuckFinn1835
HuckFinn1835

uga is the best mediocre team in America where irrelevancy matters.

HuckFinn1835
HuckFinn1835

Missouri   48

Arkansas     31


GA TECH    65

uga              10


The consolation prize for the Gawga Bullfrogs is that they'll get to showcase their perennial mediocrity and irrelevance in some obscure sorry bowl game sponsored by a rental car company. If they're so lucky to be invited to the Music City Bowl,  Nashville might even be able to accommodate their legions of redneck Dawg fans with trailer park hotels and complimentary Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer.

wreckmaniac
wreckmaniac

The term "boatracin" was created when FL demolished UGA. There was no term in the lexicon that

could describe that debacle so a new word was created. 

Helluvaengineer96
Helluvaengineer96

Let's be honest Mark. You know nothing about the Jackets. Last time you wrote anything about Tech was after you heard they lost to Duke. This wasn't so much an article then you taking notes and trying to catch up on the jackets's season.

Blah blah, time for you to run along back to the unwashed mob in Athens.

C-ya.

RBR
RBR

For those on here who say Tech as NO chance of beating UGA or FSU are obviously just trying to get under one's skin. It's just trash talking at it's best.  Any team has a chance on any given day.  If GT can capitalize on any UGA turnovers, then this game will be close.  IF they can't stop the run, it won't.  But to say the Jackets have ZERO chance is just pure stupidity.  It's like saying UGA has NO chance of beating an SEC West team.  Look in the mirror before you start making awful statements like such.

wreckmaniac
wreckmaniac

Has the entire nation decided that Missou can't beat TN and AR ? Where does this come from ?

Missou has been the best team in the SEC East for the past 2 years.  Do UGA fans even realize that

Missou is in their division ?   Or does Koolaid make them disappear ?

wreckmaniac
wreckmaniac

Other than Chubb getting his 150 yards, what can UGA do ?

FSUNole
FSUNole

and you don't think FSU has a talent advantage over GT? I would venture to say we have more talent than any school in georgia including uga...bama and fsu have the most talent..there's no denying that...tech is pesky, but no way we let them ruin our playoff and repeat hopes...

GTRay
GTRay

@FSUNole

Yes, schools like UGA and FSU always seem to have top ten recruiting classes.  Based on those high rankings vs. Tech's usual rankings in the 40s or 50s, we shouldn't even bother showing up.  But we will show up.  I am more than happy to take my chances with our little old 2 and 3 star players.

Greentow
Greentow

@FSUNole Other than possibly Notre Dame, FSU hasn't played a team as good as Georgia Tech.

drydirtroad
drydirtroad

After the Nez-Dwyer defeat of FSU at BD it should be just as easy, if not easier, b/c of the strengths I've noticed after the NC losses, to beat FSU at Charlotte, in my opinion. Something came up after the NC losses that really vaulted Tech into a first class college football team.

drydirtroad
drydirtroad

Tech can beat FSU. Tech's team this year is capable of that. Tech has a team that's on par with the Nez-Dwyer team that beat them when Nez stole the ball from the FSU guy on Grant Field. In other words, Tech looks really strong right now after the NC games. Tech's Defense has to blitz FSU to win b/c again FSU is pass happy as they used to be under Bowden. I am a Tech grad of 1973 and have confidence in this year's Tech team b/c of the bevy of running backs, running plays, play selection, uni selection and pass plays. Now when will I see another reverse? Wow does that ever fake the other teams.

Seminoles3xchamps
Seminoles3xchamps

@drydirtroad I was at that game, it was in 2009 and the worst FSU defense i can ever remember. This is a different Seminole team. We will win, Jameis and the boys are not going to lose to GT.

skraeling
skraeling

Don't you know the Orange Bowl committee is really regretting their tie in with the ACC right now.

skraeling
skraeling

@gtcaryd @skraeling The truth hurts doesn't it.  The last time GT went to the Orange Bowl, they lost money and GT got a sound butt kicking.

skraeling
skraeling

@Wrecker @skraeling @gtcaryd I have no idea but i'm sure it will be one we deserve base on our loses to two very bad teams.  GT, on the other hand, has a good chance of going to the Orange Bowl, possibly with four loses, because of a contractual agreement.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

I would just like to play some heads-up no-mistake football and if we don't win.....at least put a damn scare in them..............GO JACKETS!!

GTRay
GTRay

Our guys have to tune out all the talk about beating FSU, going 12-2 and getting into the playoffs; right now they have to focus ONLY on becoming 10-2.

BEAT GEORGIA!

BEAT GEORGIA!

BEAT GEORGIA!

BEAT GEORGIA!

BEAT GEORGIA!

GTBob
GTBob

@GTRay We are in the middle of an off week. Let them enjoy their accomplishment. Im sure they will be plenty ready for the UGA game.

GTRay
GTRay

@GTBob  

Absolutely, time to celebrate is fine, just need to shut out the extraneous stuff and focus on UGA.

GT-UT
GT-UT

Congrats to the Jackets for winning the Coastal!  This has been a fun season and I want to thank them for that.  I have enjoyed seeing this team improve and MOST importantly, play with effort and determination no matter the situation.


Keep improving and get ready for the biggest tests of the season.  This is where you find out what you are made of so have fun with it!  


Go Jackets!

TheD1Guru
TheD1Guru

There isn't a snowball's chance in hell that GT beats FSU for the ACC championship in Charlotte.  I don't care how slow that FSU starts out on offense or how many points that they fall behind.  GT will NOT beat FSU. It would be a great story to report.  News flash:  GT will beat UGA!!! The only good dawg is a dead dawg.

bigmacondawg
bigmacondawg

Georgia is going to squeak into the playoff and Tech is going to help.  1.  Tech will get roughed up bad by the Dawgs.  and 2.  Tech will pull an upset against FSU.

ATLfaninVA
ATLfaninVA

@bigmacondawg Umm…thank you for the daily humor. You are seriously delusional for even thinking that….A. UGA will rough up GT and B (the funniest of them all), actually thinking UGA could beat any of the top teams from the SEC West in the SEC Championship game…that of course is assuming Missouri stumbles. If they win out, UGA just sits around and wait for an average bowl after GT ends a 5 year drought. 

GTDude
GTDude

@bigmacondawg Well hell hath frozen over!

Big Macon is now on the GT band wagon

Welcome aboard

Hold on this is a wild ride

Jmonty
Jmonty

@bigmacondawg Oh sweet dreams...  Doubt we will get roughed up.  It will be a tight game, if anything.. 

JacketTime
JacketTime

Yeah not looking good on paper against either FSU or UGAG. Unfortunately, UGA doesn't turn the ball over much and FSU does. That is what has been the difference in big wins so yeah more of a chance against FSU. They also don't get prep versus 2 option teams.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal Constitution pointed out why the Yellow Jackets are not the most ideal opponent for the Seminoles: […]

  2. […] Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal Constitution pointed out why the Yellow Jackets are not the most ideal opponent for the Seminoles: […]