Posted: 9:24 am Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

ESPN: Tech football ranks among the most stable 

By Mark Bradley

Savoring the stability. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Savoring the stability. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Here’s proof that Paul Johnson is, as Paul Johnson often suggests, winning at a rate that’s in keeping with his station. When asked about the difference between his first two seasons, when Georgia Tech went 20-7 on the field, and the past four, when his Jackets have gone 28-26, Johnson invariably notes that, over the Jackets’ history, double-digit win totals are the exception, not the rule.

(Dave Braine, Tech’s athletic director at the time, said something similar in November 2005: “Georgia Tech can win nine or 10 games but they will never do it consistently. That’s my belief.”)

Comes now an ESPN Insider post from Brian Fremeau of the always informative Football Outsiders, in which he notes that Georgia Tech ranks as one of the nation’s five most stable programs over the past 25 years. (Not one of the five best, mind you. Fremeau points out that Tech’s winning percentage of .564 over that quarter-century is the 34th-highest among FBS programs.)

Writes Fremeau:

Some programs aren’t built to be conference and national contenders but have found a groove at or just outside the Top 25 that has produced regular bowl appearances and just enough victories to keep coaches in place for a long time.

And that, for better or worse, would be Tech, when has over the past 25 years won two ACC titles (1990 and 2009, the latter having been forfeited) and the UPI national championship of 1990. Except for the lamentable reign of Bill Lewis and its aftermath, the Jackets have been competitive and occasionally very good — they were 11-0-1 under Bobby Ross in 1990, 10-2 under George O’Leary in 1998 and 11-3 on the field under Johnson in 2009.

Only in 1994, when Lewis resigned after a 1-7 start and O’Leary went 0-3 as interim replacement, have the Jackets failed to win at least five games over the past 25 years. If that doesn’t make them a colossus, neither does it stamp them as a doormat. (Remember, they’re on a streak of 17 consecutive bowl appearances.)

Johnson’s six-year tenure, Fremeau writes, has been of a piece with the bigger picture:

Johnson’s record against FBS opponents in his six years with the program matches Georgia Tech’s record over the past 25 years (56 percent) and their FBS closed set record, too (55 percent). The Yellow Jackets have been nationally relevant on occasion, but the Johnson era is typical for a program on the fringe of the Top 25.

There are those — I’m among them, and apparently Tech AD Mike Bobinski is, too — who believe the Jackets are capable of better. Fremeau is less optimistic, writing: “With Florida State restoring its status as one of the nation’s elite programs, it will be very difficult for Georgia Tech to ascend to the top of the ACC without a big boost in efficiency.”

Yes, we knew that already. Surely Johnson knows that, too. But Fremeau’s findings should offer him, and perhaps his constituency, a bit of solace. These past four years don’t represent the low point of Tech football. On the contrary, they’re what Tech football has become — not nearly great, but not terrible, either.

407 comments
fuzzybee78
fuzzybee78

@B_Ham,

If PJ goes after the  season 2014---

Promote CTR to HC and hire young coach BL from Auburn as OC and run Auburn's offense. Roof knows him from time at Auburn and that offense is perfect  for JT and the backs we have or are incoming. Easy transition and solves the stigma of the TO for recruiting. 

JaySly
JaySly

where did the ajc get that goofy looking picture of paul johnson?  he should sue

drydirtroad
drydirtroad

ESPN is a Disney-funded station, and the "Buzz" mascot at Tech is a Disney-type cartoon child entertainment character synonomous with the Disney characters walking around Disney World such as Goofy the dog there. Annette Funicello of the old Disney Mickey Mouse Club came to Atlanta and the Tech campus in '62 and asked for an autograph of the Tech football player, Chick Granning, who had his jaw broken by an on field assault by the Alabama player Darwin Holt. This autograph session was depicted in a Tech Topics Alum mag. Chick was wearing a T club jacket w/o an Annette Disney-style "Buzz" on the jacket's sleeve, and was instead wearing an authentic BD years yj on it's sleeve, which was the one the T-club wore when I was at Tech from '69 to '73. "Buzz" is of ESPN, Disney, the late Annette Funicello, child entertainment, 'Bama, and all things the original Tech T-club is not for, as evidenced by Tech dropping out of the SEC over this incident to avoid playing scum like 'Bama. This article might rate Tech but it has nothing to do with the real Tech at all. It is time for "Buzz" to quit trying to represent Tech and to go back outside the perimeter and get lost in the sticks. 

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

I don't like the triple option for several reasons.  But the primary reason is because I think we are unable to recruit a few really good "difference makers" each year on both sides of the ball, simply because they have zero interest in playing in the current system.

Johnson is not a bad coach.  He's not terrific either.  I think the UGA loss and VT loss this year were because we got out coached.  In the UGA game, they made adjustments at half.  We didn't.  In the VT game, our OL looked like deer in headlights.

But the million dollar question (pardon the pun) is.... Who would we replace him with?  My Ken Whisenhunt pick was obviously way off the mark.

So, for all the complainers:  Who is going to be?  Ted Roof?  He wouldn't be my first choice, but I think if Johnson goes, he will be among the top 3 given consideration.

drydirtroad
drydirtroad

Tech is stable when the statistic of appearing in the most bowl games is considered. The statistic of never having a Heisman trophy winner and having Heisman as head coach for so many years is a depressive statistic Tech also has, and combine that with the bowl statistic which is manic for Tech, and you have a manic-depressive fb program at Tech in some ways. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

PEACHS: "Tech has actually beat Clemson a few times in this era of Clemson stock value going up, Georgia has not."

______________________

Now here's an example of a truly ignorant statement. GT plays Clemson EVERY year; UGA has played Clemson ONCE in the past 10 years.

You had ZERO credibility before you posted this, "Peachs." You're in minus territory now.

kerryb
kerryb

I guess stability to Tech is winning 7-8 games each year, winning a bowl game every 8 years, and beating UGA every 10-11 years....maybe.

Peachs
Peachs

HeadleyLamar the ACC talent is getting better, unlike Georgia that conference is not standing still, just like Clemson beating Georgia but losing in Clemson to FSU by dozens of points in a huge mismatch, meaning Georgia was not even beaten by the best team in the ACC and if the had to play that schedule might have a worse record than they have in the SEC getting beat by Vandy, proves my point.

This hype about Aaron Murray actually got him named the first team quarterback over Johnny Football at Texas A.&M and AJ" McCarron which was a joke, even Zach Mettenberger will be drafted before Murray. The pros don’t buy hype, I not even sure Murray gets drafted.

Peachs
Peachs

One of the things that go into this is the undervalued opinion of the ACC. When Wilson started for N.C. State he barely was noticed as the athlete he was, yet if you took the time to observe it you could see he was special, yet in this paper and filtered out to other national press is this impression that a average team came in and walked all over Tech. Matt Ryan and Boston College did the same thing.If it wasn’t for pro football we would have never known what great players these people were.Nobody at Georgia is or was as good as either of these guys, but reading local coverage your impression would be mislead at best.

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

If you want to examine something examine Tech going into overtime with Georgia this year.Explain it in terms of early expectations,


With Aaron Murray healthy would have been a blowout.


Which it sort of became after Mason settled in. Of course we had spotted Tech 20 by then but once he got his feet under him UGA was always going to win.

HeadleyLamar
HeadleyLamar

When asked about the difference between his first two seasons, when Georgia Tech went 20-7 on the field, and the past four, when his Jackets have gone 28-26,


A: Chans Talent


6.5 wins per season. Yup pretty stable.


ronaldtallon
ronaldtallon

Tech will never get any better as long as PJ is there.   The offense scores at will vs. subpar competition, but always loses to good teams.   Defense average to poor.  He has not found a way to recruit competitive players.   Running backs should be lining up to go to Tech but they are not.  PJ is far from charasmatic, not even likeable.   I have no idea who gave him an extension.  

I remember when Tech football was important in this town and on a national level.  It most certainly is not so anymore.  Quite a shame.

Peachs
Peachs

What I don’t understand is why this same examination is not place of Georgia. Tech seldom comes out with a matching band celebrating their recruiting class, and then landing with a big dud and schools all around them, Clemson, South Carolina, Alabama, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Auburn, FSU all get better than them with very little fanfare until it happens, except in Alabama’s situation.

If you want to examine something examine Tech going into overtime with Georgia this year.Explain it in terms of early expectations, Georgia’s bench would theoretically be starting in all positions at Tech yet they were get gold stars beating Tech, Tech just gets another lose to Georgia. Tech has actually beat Clemson a few times in this era of Clemson stock value going up, Georgia has not.

agentoranj90
agentoranj90

Tech football the last 25 years has been a lot like UGA football from 84-90.  Lot of 7 win seasons and Sun Bowl appearances.  There really should be a higher standard, and I think that the Tech fans are starting to grow weary.  Johnson is a good coach, but I think Tech can do better than 6-7 wins a year. 

RoseUp
RoseUp

Tech is simply old school. Not only is Grant Field the oldest stadium in the FBS, but they still go about their business the old fashioned way. They are a great school who happens to have a football program. There was a time, before most of you were born, when this was the norm. All universities had stringent admission requirements. Athletes had to be scholars first, football players second. Tech was very competitive then, winning several national championships. Today, a lot of schools place winning football games above all else. They have relaxed their admissions to allow unscholarly athletes to help them to win games. Many of the supporters of these programs need to win at all costs. They equate their team's success with their own self-worth. Tech, on the other hand, quietly goes about the business of educating engineers and architects, and the best athletes among them play football. In this modern environment, Tech will hardly win more national titles. Their graduates will succeed in life despite this. Graduates of the football-first schools will spend their lives basking in their glorious football days, poorly educated, and mostly forgotten by their former "what have you done for me lately?" supporters.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

@fuzzybee78  

My wish is not necessarily that Paul Johnson "go".  I don't like firing and hiring.  But Johnson's system is not one that seems popular among better players. And his recruiting problems are compounded by GTs academic standards. 


Bottom Line:  There are 4 key games on the schedule this year that I think PJ needs to go .500.  VT away, Miami and Clemson, both home and @UGA (probably too much to expect).  Every other game except @UNC (a little tough) should be won.


If PJ is doing a "good job", we win 8-9 games with this schedule.  Another 6 or 7 win season, with losses to VT, Miami, Clemson and UGA and I think Bobinski has to start thinking about a HC change.

Like every other season under Johnson, the defense will make or break us in 2014.

drydirtroad
drydirtroad

@Birmingham__Jacket  Hamilton would replace him. I think CPJ is a lousy coach, very bad. He does not comprehend the success other teams have against Tech when they run shotgun clinics right under his nose. Additionally, he is reverting back to the leaky Roof defenses TR ran at Tech when he rushed only 4 guys. This defense is simplistic and not the complex defense Auburn ran against Oregon in the national champeenship game on tv.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

@drydirtroad  

The consecutive bowl game statistic is ridiculous when you consider the quality of the teams we beat to get there.  And please don't cite Duke!  

To me the quality of a season is measured by the "signature wins":  Every year there are a hand full of opportunities for "significant wins".  Last season it was VT, Miami, BYU, Clemson and UGA.  We of course, won none (should have beat VT, Miami and UGA).  

This year there are fewer opportunities:  VT, Miami, Clemson and UGA.  I think UGA is too much to expect (and will be as long as Richt is there).  

But this year, Johnson desperately needs to win at least 1 if not 2 of the games against VT, Miami and Clemson to prove IMPROVEMENT.

drydirtroad
drydirtroad

@kerryb right about UGA, it's a waste of time playing them as some sort of "rival" when we usually lose to them; VT is a new rival, or should be

GTBob
GTBob

@kerryb  Im not sure why UGA fans are struggling with this so much but stable is not a synonym for great. 

drydirtroad
drydirtroad

@HeadleyLamar  that loss for GT and the next loss to Ole Miss were the two biggest back to back losses Tech has ever been subject to since both SEC teams had even records with GT; makes one wonder if Tech could have beaten GS this past season since they beat Florida; losses reveals a downward progression CPJ is on, one that he began at the Chick fil A Bowl against LSU when he dropped the all white and gold helmet unis the home crowd was probably eager to see in person at the game

GTBob
GTBob

@HeadleyLamar  Assuming that Chan's players started playing in year 3 of his tenure, they went 7-5, 7-5, 9-5, and 7-6 when playing for Chan Gailey. If he was recruiting such amazing talent then why couldn't they win when he was coaching them?

GTBob
GTBob

@ronaldtallon  Here we go again. When exactly was the last time Tech was relevant on a national level? Were you even born then?

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@agentoranj90 Only difference would be we have a NC in the last 25 years, read the post below by Rose.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@MikeBanning @RoseUpMike, have any of our football players majored in Engineering or architecture? If so i would say you owe Rose an apology.Banning you are the only one delusional, trying to act like a Tech fan is comparable to Bubbatavious being a dawg fan. Give it up.

RoseUp
RoseUp

@MikeBanning @RoseUp  The point is Tech has higher academic standards than your average SEC team. Keep banging your head against the wall, railing against the AD and coach because GT isn't in the Top 10 every year. You're only giving yourself ulcers. Appreciate it for what it is.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

@drydirtroad @Birmingham__Jacket  


Joe Ham is a legend.  One of the best to ever stand under center at GT.  Love the guy.  But he's got a lot more ladder to climb before he's in that discussion.  

At least you didn't say Bobo. LOL...

drydirtroad
drydirtroad

@Birmingham__Jacket @drydirtroad  sure, runner up for the Heisman, broke all of the records for passing and total offense, played in the Arena League, sure; suspended right, but since when are football players choir boys? 

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

@drydirtroad @Birmingham__Jacket  


Of course!  The Joe Hamilton that has never even been a O or D coordinator, that was suspended from our coaching staff a few years ago. I wish I was drinking what you are drinking...  


GTBob
GTBob

@TheOldGuy 6-5, 7-5, 8-5, and 6-6. You do realize that just proves my point even further don't you?

GTBob
GTBob

@gt-40 7-4 and 8-5 aren't exactly great years. CPJ gets crucified if he only wins 7-8 games. In Ross's last year he went 7-5 in the regular season, lost to UGA and Clemson, almost lost to Furman, and lost to an awful 3 win South Carolina team. 1990 was a special year but it was the only real successful year that Ross had at GT.

GTBob
GTBob

@DawgNole My point is that we weren't some national powerhouse under Ross. We haven't been a national powerhouse in a long time. Since then we have been a flash in the pan team. Those that that speak of the glory days before CPJ got here are just blowing smoke because they hate the guy. The truth is that CPJ is slightly outperforming every recent coach we have had. If we want to go beyond that level and become a real nationally relevant team like we were in the 50's then we need to make significant institutional changes that have little to do with our current head coach.

gt-40
gt-40

@GTBob @forexbomb


Bob, I would love to have that 3 year run again, so if we did it before, am I delusional to think we could do it again....

GTBob
GTBob

@forexbomb Yep. And it was one year. The year before that we went 7-4. The year after we went 8-5. We didn't finish in the top 25 in either of those seasons. When I talk about relevancy im not talking about the 1-2 years of success we will occasionally have, im talking about a long stretch of success like most factories have.

MikeBanning
MikeBanning

@GTBob @EJ78  

Your claim is that because of our past we are destined to be a loser program for the foreseeable future, and what is so sad is that you are actually PROUD of that ideology.

The Metro Atl. Area is #3 in the country among Urban Areas for producing NFL talent, the State of Ga. is #4 for producing BCS level players, between all that TALENT CLOSE TO GT, our FB program should be able to find 22 recruits each year that are good FB players AND smart enough to graduate from GT with a degree in BUSINESS!

22 each year ain't that many!

Even if we  "fall short" and only get 16 of that 22 with 6 being "reaches" we'll still end up as a 10-win program with consistency, given our week ACC schedules.

It is a SHAME that so-called fans like you GTBob cannot dream bigger!

GTBob
GTBob

@EJ78 So in your opinion we should always be better than 80% of the college football teams out there. Can I ask why? Why should we be better than the UVA's and UNC's of the world on a consistent basis. Those guys are trying to win too. What does GT have that inherently makes us better than everyone else if only we tried to be? We have finished in the top 20 less than 20% of the time in the last 57 years. Can you give a good reason for that other than we aren't demanding enough? Plenty of people have complained about GT football for a long time. Why have we never been the top 20 powerhouse team that you think we are entitled to be?

EJ78
EJ78

@GTBob @MikeBanningGTBob, Come On Man!!!!! Tech could easily be a Top 20 program year in year out.  We don't even try at this point.  You and those who believe as you do drank the Dave Braine "we suck athletically and can't do anything about it" kool-aid and now you choose to excuse mediocrity as opposed to demanding excellence in everything Tech does.  Tech will only do better when we consistently demand that they do better.  Otherwise, PJ will continue to shrug his shoulders and collect a check that's much to large based on the results he gotten the last four (4) years.


And another thing, RonaldDalton, when you demand academic excellence from kids, regardless of race, you get it, case closed.  I would challenge you to look at the black players that start and play for Tech, check out their academic performance. After that, you'll probably just want to shut the f--- up.

GTBob
GTBob

@MikeBanning @GTBob  In the last 10 years how many teams have had a 4 year run like Stanford has had? Maybe 2 or 3. Because Stanford has a good academic reputation you expect GT to be one of the best teams in the country on a regular basis? Sorry but irrational doesn't even begin to describe that mindset. 

GTBob
GTBob

@MikeBanning According to US News and World it is ranked #27 among undergraduate programs. It also receives very high marks for salary and job placement. That is where we hide our athletes. Compare that to Housing or Leisure Studies majors at other schools.

MikeBanning
MikeBanning

@GTBob @MikeBanning @ronaldtallon @gtcaryd @RoseUp  

I think it is in the top-40 or top-50 among undergrad programs, and I have NO issue with what you write, but that other poster made it seem like GT FB has always had tons of Engr. and Arch. majors playing FB for GT and we know that just is not the case.

GTBob
GTBob

@MikeBanning @ronaldtallon @gtcaryd @RoseUp  Business Administration at Tech is a legitimate major taken by other students as well. It's not as challenging as most engineering fields but it is a top 30 national program that just received a $50 million dollar donation from one of it's previous esteemed graduates. It's not a joke major like most of the programs that SEC players are a part of. 

ronaldtallon
ronaldtallon

@MikeBanning @gtcaryd@RoseUp  When I was at Tech, late 60s early 70s, there were a lot of Engineering majors, but the whole team was white.   Nowadays most college level players are black.   A few are good students but most are not.  You can go to a University and take PE or many other majors that have no math or sciences.  That gets them through easily but will not help them much later in life.   Hopefully our athletes graduate and do well in life.  Certainly, few of them play pro football.   I think that if we had another major a bit easier than BA we would get better players.  I have a buddy who does not want to do that.  He wants the standards high and let the chips fall where they may.  I think if we dont want to compete at this level we should deemphasize and join the southern conference.   No sense in taking a knife to a gunfight.


gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@RoseUp @MikeBanningWasting your time, like the dawg fans that are still looking every year since 1980. Ulcers are not fun!