Georgia Tech will play Pittsburgh on Saturday having not won in more than a calendar month. (Sept. 12 against Tulane: That was GT’s last W.) It’s the first time under Paul Johnson, whose tenure spans 100 games, that his Jackets have lost four in a row. Game No. 100 was close to PJ’s nadir — Middle Tennessee still looms large in memory — seeing as how his prized offense managed but 71 yards rushing at Clemson, the worst yield yet.
Picked to win the ACC Coastal, Tech is alone in last place at 0-3. (Virginia and Miami are likewise winless in league play, but they’re only 0-1.) It’s possible to win the Coastal with three losses — at 5-3, Tech tied Miami and North Carolina for first in 2012 — but it’s hard to imagine these Jackets running the ol’ conference table.
Under Pat Narduzzi, formerly Mark Dantonio’s defensive coordinator at Michigan State, Pitt has — big shock — played stout defense. Florida State is unbeaten and ranked No. 11 nationally. Virginia is 1-4, but that game’s in Charlottesville. Virginia Tech lost to East Carolina yet again and managed 100 total yards against Pitt, but Georgia Tech needed an improbable finish to beat a mediocre bunch of Hokies last season. Miami lost at Cincinnati and missed a real chance to win in Tallahassee, but the Jackets play the Hurricanes in Dade County, where they haven’t won under Johnson.
And then, on Nov. 28, there’s Georgia, which has been living with last season’s excruciating loss to Tech for 10 1/2 months already. Looking at that schedule, you’d have to say Tech will do well to reach 6-6, which would preserve the school’s bowl streak but would, in the grand scheme, be a major reversal after the 11-3 of last season. Still, we’ve all been wrong about the Jackets before. (I picked them to go 9-3, which is already out the window.)
Your turn: How will Tech finish? There’s a poll below. Please avail yourselves. And, as they say on The Hive, no venting.