Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Football - 4 More Years

It looks like the wait is over - is Chan the man or not? Evidently Chan is still the man, because the Georgia Tech Athletic Board approved a new contract extension. Word on the street is that it is a 5-year deal (unconfirmed), but we should know something soon.

From the AJC, here is where he stands with the all-time Tech coaching greats:

Coach Record Pct.
Bobby Dodd............... 30-12 .714
George O'Leary........ 28-18 .609
Chan Gailey*............. 27-20 .574
Bill Fulcher**............ 12-10-1 .543
Pepper Rodgers........ 23-20-1 .534
Bobby Ross............... 23-21-1 .522
Bud Carson............... 21-21 .500
Bill Lewis**............... 11-19 .367
Bill Curry................... 11-32-1 .261
*Has at least two games left in his fourth season.
**Fulcher coached two seasons, Lewis three.

The "Buzz" from Tech fans is along these lines:
1. Many like the decision, a few don't (big surprise there). Most glad it's decided.
2. This will help recruiting BIGTIME (that is, if it hasn't hurt it too much already this season)
3. A few feel that 5-years (if true) might be a bit too long
4. Was this decision made now knowing the odds going into a Miami/UGA final two games?

At the end of the day, you cannot have a coach in limbo trying to recruit talented kids. It's just too much ammo for opposing recruiters and puts too much doubt in an 18-year old's head. If Dave Braine gives Coach Gailey a 4-5 year extension, then it would ensure that a kid would know he would be there until he graduates (barring the good ole buyout clause). However, we cannot ignore the fact that THIS year's class may be hurt because of this situation. ................. In addition, you can debate all day if Coach Gailey is the guy to get us to a 9 or 10 win season. However, you cannot tell me that he's done anything to really deserve a pink slip.

Let's take a quick look at what next year would bring:
- senior QB Reggie Ball
- Junior C.Johnson and very good WR core (JJ, PC, GS, MF)
- An O-Line 1 year older and probably 10-20 lbs stronger per man.
- Mansfield Wrotto finally on the O-Line??????? I say he makes the switch with D.Richard back
- Daryl Richard back on the interior of the D-Line next to J.Anaoi;
- Vance Walker / E.Anyaibe in the DT rotation on the interior.
- A.Oliver / Darrell Robertson / Michael Johnson at DE (key loss with E.Henderson)
- LB core of K-Hall, P.Wheeler, G.Guyton & youngsters T.Chamers, M.Braman, A.Barnes in the wings
- Senior K.Scott - can he become a national star shutdown corner? Jamal Lewis ]takes the next step?
- Tashard Choice carrying the rock. R.Grant / D.Gause backing him up. Junior Cox at FB
- Two senior TE's and a young stud in Peek and a healthy W.Riles
- Key losses - E.Henderson, Reis, Landry, Wilkinson, D.Davis, PJ Daniels, D.Bilbo, G.Tarquinio, B.Honeycutt, C.Woods

There are some big player losses, but there is also a ton of talent coming back and young talent waiting in the wings. The cupboard is NOT bare, the current team is competitive, they have overcome adversity (remember the losses of Reuben Houston, Daryl Richard, Travis Parker this year), losses of Hargrove, Gathers, etc in years past........... All-in-all, I still like the direction we are headed. With the well-documented limitations on any coach at Georgia Tech, Chan Gailey has performed well - not great - but well. Throw in the fact that he's a good man, recruits high-character kids and you've got a good combination of someone with the potential to take things further - all while living up to the standard that we all want Georgia Tech athletics to maintain.

However, I have decided what my expectations of Georgia Tech football are moving forward............ top 25.............. That's it............ That simple............ Top 25.......... If we can stay in or around the top 25 that means we are significant on a national scale. It means we are winning often and we're probably in the ACC race. That's it. Nothing complicated. Just top 25.... in it, or around it................

Personally, I'm glad this is over. I don't know if the timing had to do with recruiting, or getting it out of the way before two TOUGH upcoming games, or getting it out of the way before the NCAA hands down some type of penalty, etc. Bottom-line - I'm glad it's over. I'm glad that Coach Gailey is solid for a few more years. For once, let's just give a guy a real chance to build a program, and not just give it lip service. Let's see if Dave Braine has another Frank Beamer "up his sleeve".

Conrats Coach.