ESPN’s Brad Edwards: Georgia Tech will return to the New Year’s Six

“So are you still not impressed?” (Lynne Sladky/AP photo)

"So are you still not impressed?" (Lynne Sladky/AP photo)

Victorious Georgia Tech after its first New Year’s Six appearance.  (Lynne Sladky/AP photo)

Having spent more than a hour on the phone with ESPN’s Brad Edwards — three separate conversations, as I recall — last fall in the attempt to handicap the College Football Playoff, I can attest that he takes the postseason more seriously than anyone who doesn’t work for the CFP itself. Writing for ESPN Insider, Edwards has disclosed his selections for next season’s New Year’s Six games, and he includes …

Georgia Tech, which overwhelmed Mississippi State in the first-ever New Year’s Six.

And one team from the SEC East.

Edwards has the Jackets making the arduous 1.4-mile trek down Centennial Olympic Park Boulevard to play Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. He has Tennessee — yes, Tennessee — headed for New Orleans to face Baylor in the Sugar Bowl. He has Oregon and Michigan — yes, Michigan — meeting in the Rose Bowl, and he slots Alabama and Notre Dame into the Fiesta Bowl. Those are his four non-playoff matches.

In the semifinals, he has one unsurprising pairing — Ohio State versus USC in the Orange, and I should note that those were my Nos. 1 and 4 teams in the Top 25 look-ahead compiled last month — and then he has a real stunner in the Cotton Bowl: Auburn, which I had at No. 16, and Oklahoma State, which I didn’t have anywhere. (Not included in Edwards’ New Year’s Six is TCU, which I had at No. 2.)

Give Edwards this: He doesn’t just pull these names from a fedora. He offers as much methodology as we’re apt to get 10 months ahead of time. He assesses quarterback play, recruiting rankings, returning starters and schedule. He picks Tech to win the ACC (ahead of Florida State and Clemson) because of Reasons 1 and 3, writing: “I like the experience on defense, and the returning talent on offense is where it needs to be for a team like this — at QB and on the O-line.”

I picked the Jackets No. 18 partly because they lost nearly everyone who touched the ball except quarterback Justin Thomas. Granted, he’s really good. But when you lose Zach Laskey, Synjyn Days, DeAndre Smelter and Darren Waller, that has to have some effect, does it not? The other part was Tech’s schedule: It plays four of my top 12 teams — FSU, Notre Dame, Clemson and Georgia — with two of those coming on the road.

As for Georgia: I had the Bulldogs No. 12. Edwards doesn’t mention them, but he does offer this appraisal of the team they’ll face in Knoxville:

There are good reasons to like Tennessee, even though the Vols may still be a year away from being a top-10-caliber team. Joshua Dobbs was inserted to the lineup halfway through last season but still managed to finish 21st in Total QBR and looks like a star in the making. Tennessee has 18 returning starters and plenty of experience on both sides of the line. The Vols also are coming off back-to-back top-five recruiting classes. And while no SEC schedule is easy, only the trip to Tuscaloosa looks like a probable loss.

Oh, and here’s one more ESPN Insider nugget for your consideration: Travis Haney ranks Georgia Tech No. 5 on his list of 10 teams trending upward after National Signing Day. Auburn, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Tennessee are also included. The school based in Athens is not.

Reader Comments 0

150 comments
GT71
GT71

And now, a jinx.

But one thing is for sure: with CPJ's offense, it matters little who's running the ball.  If the reads are right and the blocks even half-made, any 2-3 star RB will do well.

The important things are the QB reads on O and a solid D.

And we have the O part; the D can be as good as the ESPN savant says.

But even talking about this is just BS and mid-week / off-season filler to satisfy MB's word-count requirement and something for the fans to lap up.

Slurp, slurp.


swimfin2
swimfin2

Using recruiting rankings as a way to predict the following season is stupid. Most recruits won't even play the next season and even if they do, freshman, usually don't have any impact.

Guyon
Guyon

Tech has a tough schedule. I believe they will defeat FSU, ND and UGA. Clemson will point toward Tech because of the whipping they received last year in Atlanta. Tech will need some of Dodd's luck to win that game. Ted  Roof has the defense playing much better and is recruiting well. That is a big factor for Tech. Tech will play in the ACC Championship game against Clemson. If Tech loses at Clemson, they win in Charlotte..

RBR
RBR

bottom line...let's play the games before we start to guess who finishes where....as history has shown, outside of Bama, OSU, and Oregon, not many finish close to where they were ranked before the season starts.  We have 12 games ahead of us, so let's chill out.  

TOJacket
TOJacket

You know what i am picking?..................details at Eleven.......

crackbaby
crackbaby

Brad Edwards and Mr. Bradley are giving a LOT of credit to teams with unproven young rosters.  USC and Notre Dame (especially Notre Dame). 


Don't be surprised if Texas opens the season with a win at Notre Dame.  Then the Irish play at UVA and host GT.  Later they play at Clemson, USC at home, at Pitt and at Stanford.  ND likely loses at least 3 of those games to go 9-3.


Heck I don't know jack but if we are playing "Predict the Future", my crystal ball is not any foggier than those distinguished sports journalists ha ha

TOJacket
TOJacket

Mikes777.......................................you're a tool homer...................30-24...................then we biotch-slapped the SECond west team that was #1 for 5 weeks.............LOL.......what does that say about your conference?

ImaNitwit
ImaNitwit

Fact is, Butch Jones has lost 75% of his games vs the SEC (4-12). Let's wait until he wins a couple before anointing the Vols anything but mediocre.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@ImaNitwit 

Bret Bielema has lost an even higher share and some outlets are picking Arkansas to win the West.

AlternativeDawg
AlternativeDawg

Whats the difference between a bama fan and a fridge? A fridge doesn't fart when you pull the meat out.

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

                                                                  GT runs this State.

MikeS777
MikeS777

Neely is gone for Tech as well which is a huge loss off the defense.  I just don't see how they can lose that much off last year's team, play a schedule that does get much tougher, be the team everyone will be gunning for, and still have a season like they did in 2014.  Maybe if Clemson, UGA, and FSU continue to have problems keeping their star players on the field it would be more possible.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@juvenal @AugustaJacket @MikeS777 kind of the point.  Waller was outstanding filling in for Smelter and none of the ABs ever missed a beat filling in.  Was pointing out that we had injuries like those other teams mentioned...

juvenal
juvenal

@AugustaJacket @juvenal @MikeS777 it's taken time, but he's getting good kids, they work hard & buy in to the program, the depth will be there; perhaps could have done better on choice of DCs, we lost a lot of games we scored a ton of points in....OSU had injuries, overcame them, OU had a ton of talent that didn't show up-they are kids-but the coaches are paid a lot

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@juvenal 

I heard that Gurley's back up was some freshman kid called Chubb.  Did he do OK?

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@GTBob Seriously.   We had like 6 healthy defensive linemen at that end of the season, which was still enough to shut down that high powered UGA attack.   But we had extra time, of course, and we all know their offense can be figured out with more than a week to prepare.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@MikeS777 "Maybe if Clemson, UGA, and FSU continue to have problems keeping their star players on the field it would be more possible."

________________________________________________________


Maybe if we hadn't lost Laskey, Perkins, Smelter and Snoddy for key games we'd have won more than 11 games last year....

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@MikeS777 

We had lots of UNEXPECTED losses on both sides of the ball prior to 2014 and look what happened.  Players stepped up, played their hearts and their tails off and won.  I think we have more to look forward to on the defense in 2015 than we had to look forward to in 2014.  Does it still need work?  Of course, it does, but I for one am convinced that we are heading in the right direction and moving a lot faster than I had anticipated.

GTBob
GTBob

@MikeS777 We hear this same crap every year and most teams in the country could say the exact same thing. If you look at everything we lost going into the 2014 season then you wouldn't think we would have been competitive at all.

swimfin2
swimfin2

@AugustaJacket @MikeS777 Maybe if clemson hadn't lost watson and another player, they would have won? Ifs and buts...bottom line is gt needs to back up last season with another strong season. Something that hasn't happened under PJ.

MikeS777
MikeS777

Well, Mark, you called last year when you said Tech's schedule lined up well for them.  I think you will be right this year in that they just lose way too much off the team plus the schedule gets much harder.  Not only that, with every prediction like this, Tech becomes the team everyone is after.  There will be no "us against the world" card to play.

But at the end of the day, they play in what is a poor ACC conference.  If Clemson continues to have injury issues like last year, and Va Tech and Miami stay at a 6 win level, then Tech can still lose to both Notre Dame and UGA and make this New Year's Day six.  It's like Spurrier said when he was asked how he felt about watching Clemson play Orange Bowls when his SC team kept beating them.  Its the nature of the level of play in the ACC vs the SEC.


AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@MikeS777 "But at the end of the day, they play in what is a poor ACC conference."

_________________________________________________


Over the last 5 years, ACC schools are 5-3 in BCS/NY6 bowl games.  The SEC is 3-8.  ACC has more recent national champion as well.  ACC had a winning record head to head against the SEC this year.  


Careful with that rock in your glass house...

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@AugustaJacket 

But didn't the ACC teams beat up on the SEC East teams in the season ending rivalry games?  You know - the weak sister half of the SEC?

Imagine what would happen if those ACC teams had met the powerhouses from the West.


GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@AugustaJacket We were 10-2 in the poor ACC.   If we played in the SEC, we probably would have been 11-1.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

@GeorgeStein 

I know, but if someone on here has an autistic child, that is something they don't need to read.  I'm not arguing the point, just pointing out the sensitive nature of it.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

GT trending for a really good QB out of Leeds,AL. I would post his name but I can't spell it. I need to go study and I will get back later.

dawgfacedboy
dawgfacedboy

Tech fans getting mad at Dawg fans for trolling on their blog. Hahahahahaha

Crazy-Catfish
Crazy-Catfish

you nerds will be back to your usual 6-6 disaster... looks like the contract extension for fatty fish fry came too soon!!!

ThomasD
ThomasD

@Crazy-Catfish And you dwags will underachieve, once again. How can you fire such a nice guy, I know you're all asking.

Wilbo
Wilbo

College football season is over, meathead. If this low rent rag of a paper has decided you are more useless and irrelevant than Stoopid Schooltzee, then you are even further down the totem poll than I imagined...

Jmonty
Jmonty

I think the offense will be fine next year.  Easily a top 5 in rushing for the nation.  My concern comes from the defensive side.  I think we relied on too many teams to make mistakes, versus the "D" consistently making stops. The defense and their performance will determine how many games we win.  Does no good to score 40 when we allow 44, for instance. 

GTBob
GTBob

@Jmonty I actually think we were playing pretty good all around defense at the end of the year. There was certainly room for improvement but it was much improved over anything we have seen recently. Either way it should improve next year. We have several good defensive recruits coming in, Hunt Days will be back, Whitehead will be available, and guys like PJ Davis and Keshun Freeman will be even better with more experience under their belts. Our defensive line in particular will have much more depth. We should be a decent team defensively.

Home Team Critic
Home Team Critic

@Jmonty

I do not think turnovers are luck.

Case in point are the two pick sixes that won the Clemson game.

Not only were the picks good plays but both DBs knew what to do with the ball once they caught it.

I believe Roof has a lot to do with the aggressive, takeaway attitude on the defense.