Mark Bradley blog 

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

For Georgia Tech, Justin Thomas was just in time

  • 5:56 pm Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
A triumphant Justin Thomas greets his constituency. (AP photo by Matt Gentry of the Roanoke Times)

Blacksburg, Va. – These short takes are presented as a companion to the Georgia Tech-Virginia Tech game column, which can be found here. Georgia Tech won 27-24, in case you haven’t heard.

1. The bigger the moment, the better Justin Thomas is. Eight days after engineering the drive that rescued the Jackets against Georgia Southern, Thomas presided over a tying surge and then a winning one in the final 5:21 in a stadium where Georgia Tech hadn’t won since 2006. Until those final two possessions, the Jackets’ quarterback had completed 3 of 11 passes. He completed 4 of 7 thereafter. [More]

Live from Blacksburg: A tough trek for Georgia Tech

  • 10:17 am Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Lane Stadium, 9:55 a.m. (M. Bradley)

Blacksburg, Va. – Not for nothing is Virginia Tech known as every ACC program’s least favorite destination. Logistics are never easy, there being no great way to get here. As evidence, we offer Georgia Tech’s latest trek.

The Yellow Jackets boarded their plane in Atlanta before noon Friday. They expected to land in Roanoke, which is 40 miles up the interstate. They landed instead in North Carolina. Two landing passes at the Roanoke airport proved unavailing due to fog.

So the plane flew to Greensboro, which is a 2 1/2-hour drive from here. (I know because I made that haul on a [More]

Live from Tech: Will Jackets waffle versus Wofford?

  • 11:42 am Saturday, August 30th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Historic Bobby Dodd Stadium. Did I mention it's hot? (M. Bradley)

To answer the question posed above: No.

With the exception of Middle Tennessee, Georgia Tech tends to beat teams from lesser divisions/conferences like a rug. Remember last year’s opener, the 70-0 demolition of Elon? Remember 59-3 over Presbyterian in 2012? Remember 63-21 over Western Carolina in 2011?

(You might also remember the 10-7 victory over Gardner-Webb in 2008, but that was on a day when Joshua Nesbitt didn’t play.)

It would be a major shock if Tech doesn’t look good today. These games are made for the bigger program to look good. Indeed, the season’s first three weeks — the Jackets play Tulane [More]

No vote of confidence: Tech picked fifth in Coastal

  • 8:15 am Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Mark Bradley
One of these guys will win the Coastal. And Dabo and Jimbo aren't eligible. (Chuck Burton/AP)

If you’re Georgia Tech, the good news is that nobody knows how the ACC Coastal Division will play out. The less-good news is that you, Georgia Tech, were just picked to finish fifth in it.

And a pretty distant fifth at that. In voting by the assembled ACC media at the league’s press convocation in Greensboro, the Yellow Jackets finished three points ahead of Pittsburgh, which was sixth, and 148 points behind North Carolina, which was fourth. Tech drew the sixth-fewest first-place votes (one) in the seven-team division; even Pitt, for some unknown reason, commanded two first-place votes.


Orlando Sentinel ranks Tech 55th in the nation

  • 9:47 am Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 by Mark Bradley
All the color and pageantry of that rainy T-Day. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

Every summer, Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel undertakes the massive task of ranking all the FBS (formerly Division I-A) football teams. Murschel slots Georgia Tech at No. 55 this time, which is above the halfway point — there are 128 FBS teams — but not all that far above it. Still, there’s a bit of a silver lining.

Even at 55th, Tech should be favored — at least by the Sentinel’s ratings — in half its games. Wofford, against which Tech opens, isn’t ranked since it’s an FCS member, and Tulane (75th), Georgia Southern (124th), Virginia (118th), North [More]

ESPN’s power index has UGA No. 12, Tech No. 47

  • 7:53 am Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Todd Gurley scores the winner in double OT versus Tech. (Jason Getz/AJC)

Yesterday we examined Football Outsiders’ early evaluation of the 2014 Atlanta Falcons. Today we check a different set of numbers — ESPN’s preseason football power index.

As you might know, the Worldwide Leader has been counting down its imagined 16-team college football playoff, and some among you will have noted that Georgia made the field. But not for long. The Bulldogs were eliminated at the first cut. The “playoff” is now down to its final four: Alabama, Auburn, Florida State and Oregon. Not coincidentally, those teams top ESPN’s power index.

Georgia starts the season — or at least the [More]

Tech won’t let Carter go to UGA, and I understand

  • 7:37 am Thursday, May 15th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Robert Carter Jr.: He's a transfer, not a free agent. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

As noted by esteemed colleague Chip Towers, Georgia isn’t pleased that Georgia Tech refused to let the Bulldogs contact Robert Carter Jr., who considered signing with the Bulldogs — he’s from Thomasville by way of Shiloh in Snellville — before landing at Tech. As noted by esteemed colleague Ken Sugiura, the Jackets are unapologetic in their refusal, invoking the industry standard not to allow a transfer to alight with a school in the same conference or with a team his old school plays on a regular basis.

Without trying to cast myself as arbitrator, I have to say I [More]

Now is the spring of Georgia Tech’s discontent

  • 7:58 am Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Robert Carter Jr. is taking his talents elsewhere. (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Georgia Tech beat Georgia 2-0 at Turner Field on Tuesday to take the season series 2-1. And the Jackets recently received plaudits for the state of their academics. So the spring hasn’t been a complete waste.

It has, however, been rough.

Dave Walkosky, who coached Tech’s football special teams to positive effect, left the program this month without a real explanation. (Athletic director Mike Bobinski said in a statement that Walkosky chose “to pursue other opportunities.” Alrighty then.) Matt Griffin, the football director of player personnel, was fired with cause and left owing the Institute $9,388.35, according to esteemed [More]

Without Custis and Hunt-Days, is Tech in trouble?

  • 3:57 pm Friday, May 9th, 2014 by Mark Bradley
Paul Johnson isn't singin' in the rain. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

It rained on T-Day — actually T-Night — and that was the better part of Georgia Tech’s spring. Since then, the Jackets have seen Dave Wolkosky, who had spruced up the world’s least-special special teams, and director of player personnel (read: recruiter) Matt Griffin, leave for undisclosed reasons. Now this.

Freshman B-back Travis Custis and linebacker-turned-defensive-end Jabari Hunt-Days have been ruled ineligible for the 2014 season. Custis will transfer to Georgia Military College for the 2014-2015 academic year and conceivably could return to Tech for the 2015 seasons.

Not to get all gloom-and-doom so soon, but these aren’t insignificant losses. Custis [More]