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How can Georgia Tech win a championship in 2006?

What needs to happen to get another glass football in Atlanta?
Photo from The New Georgia Encyclopedia

Tonight I pose the question, what would it take for the Yellow Jackets to win a championship in 2006? That is, beyond the obvious “Win the BCS Title game/ACC Championship game,” what things need to occur this season for Georgia Tech to make a title run? Whenever I refer to a record, it refers to that record or better.

1) A #2 receiver steps up
Without a legitimate target opposite Calvin Johnson, The Jackets will not win enough games for a championship. Chris Dunlap, Xavier McGuire, and James Johnson all have the ability to be “the” guy, and a solid set of four receivers lined up could really spread out the defense and allow solid option play (if Nix uses it much), and also get CJ open.

2) Tashard Choice picks up where PJ left off

As it says on YellowBlazer’s front page, Coach Gailey said Choice will “Make us forget all about P.J.” I think Tashard is poised for a breakout year. He was Adrian Peterson’s #2, and that’s nothing you can hate on a guy for. Rahaun Grant will offer a good change of pace with his shiftiness, and Jamaal Evans should get his share of carries, but the torch is Tashard’s to carry.

3) Go 11-1 (National Championship)

This speaks for itself. A two-loss team will not end up in the BCS title game, barring one of the weirdest seasons ever.

4) Beat Notre Dame (NC)

If Georgia Tech beats Notre Dame, the team is immediately on the national radar. Following a win over the Irish, I would predict a ranking of ~18-20 if most already-ranked teams win. If several lose, I could see as high as ~11-13.

Without a win over ND, I don’t see a shot at the national championship. Even while running the table from there out, only thoroughly decisive wins throughout the season would result in top two-level national prestige. And Georgia Tech has not been known for decisive wins lately (although much of this is from the high quality of the opponents).

5) Finish September 4-1 (NC) or 1-1 ACC (ACC)

If the Jackets lose one (and only one) game in September and win the ACC, they’ve got a shot at a BCS title game bid, assuming that there are not two undefeated BCS teams. Early-season losses can be made up if you run the table from there out. (However, I still feel, as said in (1) that without a win over the Irish, the Jackets are out of the NC hunt.)

As far as an ACC championship, if GT loses to both UVA and UNC, it’s doubtful that they’ll be able to win the division and go to the ACC championship game.

6) Beat every North Carolina School (NC or ACC)

Chances are good that if Tech loses an ACC game, it will be to Miami, Virginia Tech, or Clemson. The chances of losing only once ACC game and it being to UNC, NC State or Duke are pretty low. The chances of losing one to a N. Carolina school and no one else at all are even slimmer.

7) No inexplicable losses (NC or ACC)

This is pretty much a way to rephrase number 6, but I feel it’s worth saying.

8) Clemson does not win the Atlantic Division (NC)

Having two wins over the same team would hurt our strength of schedule, and I think keep us out of the BCS Title Game.

9) Beat Georgia (NC or ACC)
An end-of-season loss basically disqualifies any team from a national championship game berth. Why do I say we need to beat Georgia to win the ACC? We would need the momentum. Whatever team wins the Atlantic Division, chances are they will have a bit of the big Mo’.

10) The ACC has a strong year (NC)
If there aren’t any one-loss teams in the ACC, it’s doubtful the ACC Champion will have enough street cred to go to the Title Game. And even if we got shafted out of the Title Game but ran the table, I don’t expect the same love-fest than Southern Cal got in ’03. Without season-long hype (which is actually slightly possible following a whooping of ND), the AP voters will not rank Tech above the BCS champ.

Those are my contentions. Where am I right or wrong? Are these too superficial/obvious to mean anything? Post your thoughts in the comments section.

Hope springs eternal. As a Wake Forest fan, I know a thing or two about far-fetched hopes. I do hope you guys manage to knock off ND though. I think one point you left off that needs to happen is: Reggie Ball needs to complete more than half his passes.

Judging from the sixteen GT games I've attended the past two years, I would say that the biggest cap we face is the play of Reggie Ball. If he plays well enough to keep us from losing (a la Trent Dilfer) than we can be *competitive* against any team this season. Him stepping up to the expectations we had for him as a freshman could result in something specail. The second biggest question in my mind is the secondary on the defense, although Tenuta has never done anything but perform very well with the player he has (was anybody else worried two years ago when both LB's Smith and Fox graduated, four games into the season it wasn't even a thought). Anyways, my two cents, great post and great insights

Both of you guys are exactly right. Reggie Ball's improved play is the number one question for the Jackets this season... in hindsight, I have no clue how I missed it when posting this.

I thought of the secondary thing, but as you said, Tenuta is Mr. "Make the Most of your Personell." Until I see a defense of his not work, he's got the benefit of the doubt from me.

great topic, keep up the great posts, MMA

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