Thursday, December 29, 2005

Football Season Ends on a Downer

Well, after two blowout bowl wins in a row, the Jackets get a taste of their own medicine, getting blown off the field by Utah 38-10. I don't have time for anything in depth, other than the following points:

- The story was the defense, or lack there of. Don't get all huffy about the offense. It was no different than much of the season, struggling to score points, struggling in the redzone, and just stalling out much of the time. The real story was the complete lack of intensity of the defensive gameplan. How one guy could shred the D for over 200 yards receiving and 4 TD's is beyond me. Does anyone know how to guard a post pattern? This Defense gave up 550 yards of offense - the largest total of the season. This looked like a group that hadn't played in a long time. Don't forget to lay plenty of blame at the foot of Jon Tenuta. He leads the D virtually 100% and Chan leaves him along. He didn't have his group ready today.

- There really wasn't a phase of this game that stood out as a grand positive. Special teams was ok (Travis Bell finally hit a FG), the offense was weak and the defense was poor. The O-Line was abused much of the day. Reggie Ball was running for his life a lot. When he wasn't, he was throwing off his back foot too often. The D-Line didn't get much pressure on the Ute QB. The blitzing schemes just didn't work that much. Nothing much worked today, except 65 yard bombs with seconds running off the clock.

- Ok, Joe Anaoi had a good game with 2 sacks. PJ Daniels had a good game. I tried to find something.

- I think this game was about attitude. It was about desire. The Utes had it. They were excited about playing, and the Jackets were still mumbling about going west. Their heads were never in the game and it showed.

So another years goes by and the Jackets end the season yet again on that broken record of 7 wins. The good news for Chan Gailey - he's got 5 more years to figure out how to get to 8, or dare I say it - more.

Congrats to the seniors. You played your hearts out this season. There is so much to look forward to next season. There really is. GO JACKETS!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Beesball - Tech Featured in Video Game

Story here.................

Ramblin No More

Great article on the end of the road for Ryan McFerrin, who no longer gets to drive the Ramblin Wreck. Check it out.

What's Buzzin'

Some old stuff, but I'm back in action again from the holiday. Just getting geared up for what promises to be a frustrating hoops game against Air Force.

A coincidence that Music City Bowl Director Scott Ramsey is a graduate of Old Dominion University, which is of course in the "great" state of Virginia? Hhhhmmmmm.

Trevor Bray makes the Virginia state 1st team as a RB and LB.

JD gets picked up by the Green Bay Packers. Outstanding.

Tight end Will Heller signed with the Tampa Bay Bucs.......... again. That's where he spent his first two seasons. He was cut by the Bucs on the eve of the 2005 season. He played 7 games for Miami this year before being cut.

Interesting concept, but one that wouldn't bode well for Jacket fans.

The hoops team has another running mate - at least in practie. 6'8 Mouhammad Faye from Senegal will be able to practice with the team the remainder of the season, sit on the bench (as he did last night against JU), but will not play until next season. That's another big class, but I'm not quite sure how the scholarship situation works out now. Below are the last 3 classes for coach hewitt.


Next season, Mario West will be a senior. With this group that's 14 scholarships. However, it has not been made clear of Paco Diaw and/or Faye are on 'ship or not. By the way, the issue with Faye seemed primarily centered around the transfer of class credits to Tech. It does not appear to have been an issue with grades, although I have not confirmed that 100%.

Nice blurb on him here:

Before beginning his collegiate career at Georgia Tech, D'Andre made his final season at Palisades High a heroic one, returning from an injury to average 25 points and 10 rebounds a game and leading the Dolphins to a playoff berth.

Evidently it was a Georgia Tech drubbing at the hands of Penn State back in the 1960's at the Gator Bowl that got Bobby Bowden partially motivated to get into coaching. How do you like that?

Interesting story. Justin Roper is a highly rated high school QB out of Buford GA. His father Brad played and coached at Georgia Tech, and it turns out his father was the guy who convinced Ted Roof to come play for Georgia Tech. Brad's son just committed to Oregon State over Duke (coached by Ted Roof) and Louisville. Interesting since Oregon State already has 2 QB commits - and now 3.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Hoops - Schenscher Headed Down Under

It's nice to see our man Luke Schenscher getting love from his home-country, as they are putting up some bucks to get him back to Melbourne AND allowing him to chase his NBA dream. Way to go Luke - although the contract is not finalized.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas to all.............

Wanted to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. gtg673r over at the Hive spent some time creating this little diddy - the 12 days of GT Christmas. Thought I would share:

On the first day of Christmas, GT gave to me
a contract extension for Gailey.

On the second day of Christmas, GT gave to me
a ninth straight bowl
and a contract extension for Gailey.

On the third day of Christmas, GT gave to me
Hewitt's 100 wins,
a ninth straight bowl,
and a contract extension for Gailey.

On the fourth day of Christmas, GT gave to me
Calvin All-AP,
Hewitt's 100 wins,
a ninth straight bowl,
and a contract extension for Gailey.

On the fifth day of Christmas, GT gave to me
Bball Winning Streak,
Calvin All-AP,
Hewitt's 100 wins,
a ninth straight bowl,
and a contract extension for Gailey.

On the sixth day of Christmas, GT gave to me
Dave Braine a-silent,
Bball Winning Streak,
Calvin All-AP,
Hewitt's 100 wins,
a ninth straight bowl,
and a contract extension for Gailey.

On the seventh day of Christmas, GT gave to me
All players eligible,
Dave Braine a-silent,
Bball Winning Streak,
Calvin All-AP,
Hewitt's 100 wins,
a ninth straight bowl,
and a contract extension for Gailey.

On the eigth day of Christmas, GT gave to me
Recruits a-committing,
All players eligible,
Dave Braine a-silent,
Bball Winning Streak,
Calvin All-AP,
Hewitt's 100 wins,
a ninth straight bowl,
and a contract extension for Gailey.

On the ninth day of Christmas, GT gave to me
GT Ladies winning,
Recruits a-committing,
All players eligible,
Dave Braine a-silent,
Bball Winning Streak,
Calvin All-AP,
Hewitt's 100 wins,
a ninth straight bowl,
and a contract extension for Gailey.

On the tenth day of Christmas, GT gave to me
60 band a-playing,
GT Ladies winning,
Recruits a-committing,
All players eligible,
Dave Braine a-silent,
Bball Winning Streak,
Calvin All-AP,
Hewitt's 100 wins,
a ninth straight bowl,
and a contract extension for Gailey.

On the eleventh day of Christmas, GT gave to me
11 Utes a-uteing,
60 band a-playing,
GT Ladies winning,
Recruits a-committing,
All players eligible,
Dave Braine a-silent,
Bball Winning Streak,
Calvin All-AP,
Hewitt's 100 wins,
a ninth straight bowl,
and a contract extension for Gailey.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, GT gave to me
Football team a-bowling,
11 Utes a-uteing,
60 band a-playing,
GT Ladies winning,
Recruits a-committing,
All players eligible,
Dave Braine a-silent,
Bball Winning Streak,
Calvin All-AP,
Hewitt's 100 wins,
a ninth straight bowl,
and a contract extension for Gailey.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Football Recruiting - Jackets land D-Lineman

Well, the scholarships available are dwindling and they just shrunk by one because D-Lineman Ricardo Matthews has committed to Georgia Tech. He's a 6'2" 260lb Defensive Lineman. He's not ranked by the services at his position, and is a "2-star" guy by both major services. However, he's one of these athletic "jumbo" guys that could play a lot of positions at the college level. He put up some very impressive combine numbers for a guy of his size - 4.9-40, 32.5" vertical. His 40-time was the 3rd fastest for DT's nationally on the listings.

Matthews was also a high school wrestler, which certainly helps with body leverage and technique on the line. It appears the staff pushed for his committment, as the numbers were disappearing. He was recruited by a lot of other big programs, but had a firm offer from Maryland.

So is Ricardo another "underachiever"? Another "diamond in the rough"? Could be. Evidently he played out of position in high school most of the time - manning the linebacker spot. So many coaches might have seen him as a LB and passed. Sounds like a good pickup for the Jackets and sounds like he was recruited as a DE, although he could eventually end up at a DT spot with that body size. Definitely a D-Lineman though.

Dude has a serious wingspan:

Picture from

Welcome aboard Ricardo!!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Hoops - Jackets Drop Jacksonville

Paul Hewitt and crew were back in action tonight after a long layoff, as they took down former Jacket assistant Cliff Warren and Jacksonville U by a final of 92-67. It was an undermanned opponent, but there was a lot to be happy about after tonight's performance.

The rust showed early as the Jackets struggled to score and looked out of synch for the first 6-8 minutes. They found some rythm though and started to create some distance, going up 41-30 at the half. The great news was that the Jackets went for the kill in the 2nd half, for the first time showing that killer instict and ability to put away teams. Tech runs away and wins by a final of 92-67

A mixed defensive outing. Jacksonville actually shoots 45% overall and 50% from 3pt range. You don't do that without getting open looks. So that's not such a great effort. However, JU did turn the ball over 24 times, 13 of which came on Jacket steals. That's good. As important is that we scored 32 points on those 24 turnovers. JU only had 12 assists on the night as well, which is somewhat of a sign of a team strugggling to move the ball on offense. So give the Jackets some credit overall.

Individually, Mario West and D'Andre Bell were strong on defense and Theodis Tarver did a very nice job with defensive position as well.

The Jackets win the battle of the boards 42-31, including 18-12 on the offensive glass. As usual Jeremis Smith and Sean Dickey do the heavy lifting, with 21 boards between them. A decent effort and not too much to complain about here.

A very nice offensive effort tonight, as the Jackets shoot 52% from the field, although only 27% from long range. The good news was that the team got a lot of good looks, moved the ball well and found the open man. Five Jackets score in double figures, so there was some good balance. They got to line 31 times and hit 71% of those, which is outstanding. The effort was pretty weak early in the game, and Coach Hewitt said just that in the post-game, but the team picked it up and found some energy.

The best team stat was that the Jackets had 21 assists on 33 field goals. That is an outstanding ratio.

Well, the Paco Diaw starting point guard experiment didn't exactly work out. Diaw got into foul trouble pretty quickly and had to sit. He got back in then quickly committed his 3rd foul and didn't see a lot more action in the 1st half. He played better in the few minutes he got in the 2nd half, but he wasn't the spark that he was coming in mid-game against Tenn St. Paco did score his first point of his college career, hitting a late 2nd half 3 point shot. He ended with 1 assist, 1 rebound, 1 bucket and 3 fouls.

Well, Paco didn't dazzle, but Buck Fredrick and Sean Dickey responded well to their benching. Buck came in and proceeded to run the team like a true PG with crisp passing and clearly looking for open mates. He ends the game with 6 assists, only 1 turnover, 7 pts (2-5), 3-4 FT, 2 boards, 2 steals. Just an outstanding night for him as a PG. Definitely nice to see that.

Sean Dickey also did a nice job on the boards early in the 1st half when the team was struggling. He ends the game with 11 pts (3-6), 5-6 FT, 8 boards (3 off), 2 blocks, 2 assists, but 4 to's. No doubt the elevation of this team will take a night-in night-out strong performance by Dickey. Good effort tonight.

How's about this stat line - 18 pts (8-12), 2-6 FT, 13 boards (4 off), 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 to. The double/double man does it again. Smith is really establishing himself as the go-to man, the clean-up man, the everywhere man, the all-effort-all-the-time man........ you get the idea. Can you believe he's only a sophomore?

A-Mo didn't look himself tonight - or at least his shot wasn't there. He ends the night with 16 pts, but was only 6-14 from the floor. He was active though, as he had 3 boards, 1 block, 1 assist, 2 steals, 2 to's. Of course if this is an off-night for A-Mo, I'll take it. How many 1-10 or 2-14 nights did we have with Marvin Lewis or BJ Elder?

D'Andre Bell had his best night as a Jacket. He was very active on defense with 3 steals. On offense though he drops in 12 points (4-7), 4-4 FT, grabs 2 boards. It would be great if he starts to find himself. He's a lot like Jeremis in that he hustles and is a real effort guy. Nice to see him coming around.

Theodis played a nice game again. He ends up with 11 points, 4-4, 3-4 FT, 3 boards, 2 blocks. He played well defensively as well.

December 28 at Air Force - could be a challenge in the slowdown halfcourt offense they will want to run. Be there or be a geometric shape.

What's Buzzin' in Football

From Coach Gailey.

"There was initial disappointment because it's so much tougher for our families and our fans to get to the games," Gailey said. "I don't think it was this bowl or San Francisco. I think it was just the thought of having to travel so far. If San Francisco were in south Alabama, I think it would be fine."

You know how writers use cutesy plays-on-words? I think Tony Barnhardt had one of the best in his recent article about the weird bowl situation. He said the bowl picking scenario is about dollars, not sense........ Wish I would have thought of that.

..... and ya don't stop........ The earth mover - Mansfield Wrotto, looks like he'll play both offense and defense during our bowl game, although Coach Gailey won't say how much. There's no doubt his future is on the O-Line and had it not been for the losses of Travis Parker (academics) and Daryl Richard (injury), that's where he would have been this season. I can't wait to see him line-up at right tackle.

This is the East/West Shrine game in San Antonio Texas.

Interesting article on the bowl profitability scenario for many schools. Lots of interesting details about revenue sharing and how the ACC chips in when it comes to ticket guarantees for schools like GT.

Hoops Notes

Some stuff you already know about, but lets get it covered.

Can Paul Hewitt possibly go through a season without losing an important team member? Well, not this year - as Lewis Clinch is going to miss 4-6 weeks with a stress fracture. An injury that started out as what appeared to be a strained calf, but progressively got worse until it was determined to be a stress fracture. Bad thing is that he can't even do any activity, so he'll have to get back into game shape after he's "healed"........ Not good, but if anyone has experience shuffling a line-up it's Coach Hewitt............. Speaking of shuffling the line-up.............


In tonight's game against Jacksonville, the starting line-up is going to look different. The South Carolina boys are going to have to watch the opening tip from the bench, as Paco Diaw gets the start at PG over Zam Fredrick and Theodis Tarver gets the start over Ra'Sean Dickey down low. Remember - defense defines the starters in a Coach Hewitt system. With that in mind, this should not be a huge surpise. Offensively it's a BIG step down, but this is only the starting line-up. Remember, it's who finishes, not who starts that REALLY matters. Personally, I don't think a few minutes of outstanding play by Diaw gives him the starting job, but who am I to question Coach? He says none of this is about sending messages - it's about chemistry and teamwork. Can't argue that. We'll see what happens tonight against another former Hewitt protoge-turned-headcoach...........

Yet again, Coach Hewitt will match wits against a former assistant, this time Cliff Warren. Last year he faced JMU Coach Dean Keener as well as former Siena assistant Steve Evans. Is Coach Hewitt starting his own coaching family tree? He's certainly off to a good start.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Recruiting vs Results

We've talked until we're blue in the face about recruiting rankings. Some people want to place the rankings of, and other sites as the future of our program. The main problem is of course information. For fans, there's really no other source but internet sites. These services are it when it comes to judging how your coach is pulling in talent. Coaches are publishing their evaluations or talent lists, so where else do you turn?

The recruiting services themselves are part of the problem. They do an admirable job at times trying to judge hundreds and hundreds of players, but be real - most of them are dealing with a staff of 10 people or less doing the work. They are dealing with a few highlight reel film clips, some camp statistics and a limited amount of personal game attendence. How much can they REALLY evaluate without a staff of hundreds. They do the best they can to provide a service that financially supports their efforts.

There is an interesting website that tries to take recruiting rankings and show a correlation to on-the-field success. They took the past 4 years of recruiting vs the success rate of those teams to see which "underacheived" and "overacheived" based on where recruiting results told them they should be.

The results showed that Georgia Tech has the best record of "overacheiving" in the ACC, and is actually the #15 "overacheiving" school in the nation.

Results vs Recruiting Rankings
(net difference, + means "overacheiving", - means "underacheiving")
+32......... Georgia Tech
+31......... VaTech
+15......... Boston College
+14......... Clemson
+3.......... Wake Forest
-3.......... Miami
-11......... North Carolina
-16......... FSU
-16......... NCST
-18......... Maryland
-21......... UVA
-34......... Duke

You can read the site for more details, but here are some points:
- didn't include class of 2001, which had significant starters for GT & others
- transfers not included
- newer class rankings are given less weight since those players don't generally contribute as much
- on-the-field rankings were based on an average of leading polls.

If this study has any truth to it, then as a fan of Georgia Tech, one could conclude that our coaching staff either:
A.... is a much better evaluater of talent than other schools
B.... is a much better developer of talent than other schools.
C.... both "A" and "B"
D.... lucky

Coach Gailey has made it clear in past interviews that his staff has their own system for evaluating talent and do not rely on recruiting services to track top talent. Personally I would think this is standard at every college, but evidently it is not. Check out this article, which is very interesting, about how Miami is going to experiment with a "new" system of evaluating their own talent. I find this article interesting, but completely appalling if I'm a Hurricane fan. So what you're telling me is that Larry Cocker and staff have been lazy and relied on Rivals and Scout and other more "secret" recruiting services for their talent evaluation instead of their own system. They actually say Miami will be a Guinea Pig. Are you kidding me?

"At most colleges, they feel they don't have the time or resources to turn over every rock searching for players," Garcia said. "Most colleges take the easy way out, going after the kids being recruited by the major powers. Everyone else wants them so you feel you have to go get them."

Garcia has encouraged Miami's coaches to ignore recruiting lists and trust their own evaluations. The goal is to find more of the hidden gems that helped transform UM into a dynasty the past two decades.

This is groundbreaking? I'm sorry, I don't get it. You should be doing this already. If you not, that's lazy.

"Go look at any pro team's draft board and you'll be amazed at how many players are being selected in the first three rounds from small schools that were overlooked by the big powers."

Well duh. I don't care how good of a system you have, the big powers don't corner the market on talent. What they tend to do is corner the market on KNOWN high school talent. That's why the best wide receiver in the history of the NFL, Jerry Rice, went to Mississippi Valley State. He wasn't a KNOWN talent, but he sure developed into one didn't he?

Does Coach Gailey have a superior system for evaluating talent? Personally I think it's one of the top 25 systems in the nation. He consistently fields better teams and the best drive of that is talent. His classes have been consistenly ranked in the bottom half of the ACC, yet we never finish there, have been to 9 straight bowl games, etc, etc. There's got to be something here to Coach Gailey's system.

Does Coach Gailey have the ability to "coach up" talent through superior play-calling and a system that allows you to plug-in people to be effective? I think there is some truth to this as well, although I can't say how superior this might be. Tech fans will certainly differ on this, but we know the defensive system has been very effective at plugging in different players. I'm not so sure the offensive scheme fits this mold, but the defense seems to.

Does Georgia Tech have the facilities, support, strength/conditioning program and nutritional program that can develop kids into superior talent? I don't know, but I get the feeling we're way above average here too.

So what are we missing? We have a better system for evaluating talent, maybe a better O/D scheme (or system, at least on D), great facilities, strength/conditioning, nutrition programs, etc. What we're missing is the overall pool of players we have to chose from. It's a lot smaller than for most schools. We have to get the kids that can cut it academically 1st, then meet all those other on-the-field criteria. So as a result, many of the players we get do in fact have to be "coached up", or bulked up. Some underecruited kids like Vance Walker prove the Gailey-talent system works, but face it - we need our share of Calvin Johnson's as well. CJ was a national 5-star recruit and look what he's done on the field. He was not a secret in high school. The recruiting services are not stupid and not worth throwing in the trash either. So we need to land more nationally recruited kids to go along with our underrecruited kids or "diamonds in the rough". Then it would help if we wouldn't flunk out a bunch of them because of poor policies and untrained registrars.

All in all, this has me feeling pretty good about things. The recruiting services have the current Jacket class ranked in the #30 - 40 range as a team. That's the strongest of the Chan Gailey era so far. If we are better evaluators of talent, then it's probably better than that. Many of the kids have already been upgraded with more "stars", so there just might be something to that man from Americus. There's a lot to be positive about. Yes, there are concerns - special teams, QB efficiency, etc, but future should be bright............

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Football Recruiting

Three Georgia Tech football recruits made the Georgia high school 1st team All-State:

Corey Earls in Class AAAA
Demaryius Thomas in Class AA
Robert Hall in Class A

In addition, Earls was voted the best WR and DB on his team.

In the state of Alabama, Heath Bachelor made 1st team as well, in Class AAAA.


The Real Meaning of "Student-Athlete"

What do Salih Besirevic, Damarius Bilbo, Robbie Rollins, Dennis Davis, Reuben Houston, Eric Henderson and Dawan Landry have in common? They just graduated!!! Fantastic news and what collegiate athletics is really all about!!!

(Picture from

Now that's what I'm talking about!!!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Cash Moves Everything Around Me..... Dollar Bill Ya'll

Say good-bye to the Peach Bowl. It's officially gone now. No, the game will still be played, but the name will forever go from the "Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl" to just the "Chick-Fil-A" Bowl. This from the Peach Bowl president:

"To get our bowl into this position has been our goal since we started these talks with Chick-fil-A," said Gary Stokan, the bowl's president. "Yes, we say goodbye to 38 years of tradition with the Peach Bowl. But we believe — and our board of directors agreed — that there are going to be opportunities out there for us in the future, and this puts us in good position to take advantage of those opportunities."

Yes, as a matter of fact, you do say goodbye to 38 years of tradition for the opportunity at corporate sellout and the almighty dollar. Adios. AuRevior. Aloha. What do they get in return? A per team payout going from $2.4M to more than $3.0M, which makes it the 2nd highest non-BCS payout. There's a longer-term rolling contract with a national ESPN advertising buy.

In exchange for that, they no longer want you or I referring to this bowl as the "Peach", because of course that would dilute the branding opportunity afforded by this payoff......... errrr...... partnership.

How do I feel? Well, I think it stinks. Having said that, I don't blame them. Money runs the world, so they're just playing the game. Don't hate the playa....... you know the rest.......

From the "smoke filled rooms" of the ACC offices comes word that the ACC will decide which teams go where next season for bowls. For all you whiners out there that say the ACC only protects the North Carolina schools, we're sure going to find out, aren't we? ACC Commish John Swofford isn't saying there will be specific rules based on records - he's saying he and assistant commish Mike Finn will make the call. Obviously we'll know very much how they lean.

That last linked article said that Coach Gailey indicated we'd sold about 6,000 tickets for the Emerald Bowl as of yesterday. Well, this article indicates that Tech fans have donated more than 5,600 tickets to servicemen, pop warner leagues, special olympics, etc. If my math is correct, that means actual fans going to the game that have bought tickets through the GTAA number about 400 so far. Ouch................................ Well, we sure are a charitable bunch.

Where are they now - Luke and Will

Will Bynum finally came back from his injury to play his first NBDL game. He finished with 28 points, 9 assists and 9 turnovers.

"I was a little rusty," Bynum said. "It's nice to back because sitting out was tough. We're going to be all right, though. We're definitely going to be good once we get comfortable playing with each other."

The National Basketball League (NBL) has announced a new team in Australia - the Melbourne South Dragons. The owner of the team is negotiating with an unnamed "high profile" player, and it is known that they are very interested in Luke Schenscher. However, Luke is still interested in the NBA.....

Thursday, December 15, 2005

What's Buzzin on the Gridiron

Calvin Johnson has now made 4 different All-American teams as a sophomore. He made 1st team on the AFCA, which is the coaches, 1st team by, 2nd team by the Walter Camp Foundation and now 2nd team for the "official" AP AA team............ In addition, Gerris Wilkinson made 2nd team all-american by Rivals. Also, Andrew Gardner made honorable mention for the Sporting News freshman All-American team. Nice going guys.................

Well, UVA continues to struggle to sell tickets and has copied the Jackets by asking fans to buy gifts for miliary personnel. Guess those Music City folks aren't exactly "pickin and grinnin'"..................

Coach Gailey is using this extended time off to scrimmage some of his younger players. They did 25-30 play scrimmages last weekend for players that had been on the scout team all fall. Some of the seniors hung around to watch.

Looks like the Tennesse Vol's are after Assistant Coach Curtis Modkins as their WR coach. They have a couple of other names are on their list though....

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Football - Recruiting - Jackets nab 2 more guys

Another VERY good night if you're a recruiting nut. is reporting that 3-star LB Chicago prospect Osahon Tongo (6'2", 225lb) committed and is reporting that bigtime WR Demaryius Thomas (6'4", 210lb) gave his word to Georgia Tech as well. Thomas is another 3-star player and he's from the Dublin GA area. Thomas had offers from our neighbor in Athens, and interest from most southern schools. Size-wise he seems like a 95% scale version of Calvin Johnson.

From what I can tell, both these guys are really high character kids - not that any of us really know them. But it appears they really fit the mold of Tech-men.

Congrats to to OT and DT and to Coach Gailey and crew for continuing an outstanding week for recruiting. A couple more key commits and this is shaping up to be one of Coach's best classes.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Elephants and Mountaineers have something in common....

.... they don't forget:

Fifty-one years later, Sam Huff still remembers. Maybe it's that he can't forget.
"We had a great football team. We won 31 games in three seasons. We beat Penn State three years in a row," said Huff, a former West Virginia All-American. "Then, when we went to the Sugar Bowl (1954), we embarrassed ourselves."

Opponent Georgia Tech was "experienced, knew how to win," Huff said. "We were there to have a heck of a good time. They kicked our butts 42-19. Even now, it is something I'm embarrassed about."

The moral of the story: Getting there isn't good enough for the Mountaineers, who face Georgia in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2.

Football - Tommy Tubberville on GT game

Tommy reflects on the Auburn season in this Q&A and the Georgia Tech loss:

A lot of people believe Auburn's loss to Georgia Tech is the black mark on the resume. Is that an accurate assessment?

I thought we were going to be good as the season went on. When we played (Tech), we just weren't mentally and physically ready to play the kind of team that plays that kind of ball. They put a lot of pressure on us. We made so many mistakes. We didn't know enough, coaching-wise, about our kids to know how to counteract that. Unless all your players are back from the year before, you're going to have some adjustments to make.

I'd love to have played that game a little later in the season. We still had a chance to win that game. We were only down a few points in the fourth quarter. We just didn't do it.

Do you think that loss worked to strengthen the team?

I don't think it changed anything. We knew we'd be better by the middle of the season. We just had to stay afloat until then. Was it a surprise that we lost? Not really. We felt like we had a good team but experience is so important early in the season.

Football Recruiting A 2nd Tailback Commits

Per, the Jackets landed another running back in Decatur GA's Quicy Kelly, a 6'1" 225lb guy who runs the 40 in 4.66. One key to his recruitment - versatility. He could actually develop at the LB spot of RB doesn't pan out....... It is not clear if we have closed the door at the RB position. The plan was to sign 2 backs, which we now appear to have done. However, there were guys like Andre Anderson, that Jacket fans thought would surely end up on the flats. Sounds like the door is closed now though........I'll do some further research, but I'm reading good things about this kid and his potential in the backfield. Could just be another one of those underrecruited guys.......

Monday, December 12, 2005

Football Recruiting

The Jackets pick up a nice running back prospect in Jamaal Evens, from the state of Texas. He's the #23 overall prospect in the state. Rivals has him as a 4-star player and the #4 all-purpose back in the nation. They also have him in their national Rivals250 at # Scout lists him as a 3-star player. Evans is not a typical Gailey power-back - he's about 5'7", 180lb. He also has mixed results on his 40-times, ranging from 4.4 - 4.66, so it's unclear his real speed. He is known to have very good football instincts. His video shows a good ability to change directions and angles and a good burst. He's a very shifty running. He had back-to-back 2000+ yard rushing season as a sophomore and junior. Evans was also recruited by Ok.St, Iowa St, LSU, Minn, UNC and others. Coach Modkins personally recruited Evans.

You want some comparisons? In terms of size and running-style, some include Jerry Mayes and Warrick Dunn. One article said that his running style was very similar to Barry Sanders, in that he has a strong ability to change directions and create something when nothing is there. That's certainly high praise indeed.

Jamaal will be in class January 15 2006, although he will count towards the 2006 class, not the current one.

Hoops Notes

Well, a busy weekend, but we'll get back to some updates here. Sorry for the drought. On a side note, I went skeet-shooting for the first time ever Saturday morning with a group of men from my church. In fact, I had not shot a gun in years, so I was just hoping to hit something. However, I may be taking this up as a serious hobby in the future. In sort of a golf course format, you went around to 12 different stands and shot clay pigeons in pairs from different angles, etc. I hit 57/100, which ended up 2nd or 3rd in our group I think. Not bad for a newbie who hadn't shot a gun in years and had never shot skeet. If you ever get a chance to do that, I highly recommend it. It was a "blast".

Now, on to more important things (to you):

Hewitt wins #100
Coach downplayed his 100th on the flats saying it just means he's been here 6 years. Congrats anyhow and here's to the next 100......... in 5 years or less :-)

PACO Di "Wow"
I think Paco earned himself some PT moving forward. He came into that Tenn.St game and offensive flow, teamwork and passing went up another notch. Amazing that a guy who did little more than find the open man gets so much press. Just shows you that this young team is still learning about the importance of ball movement and creating open shots.

So Coach Hewitt said it was a reward for Theodis Tarver's hard work against UGA and effort in practice. Sorry, I'm not buying. If what you mean is that Theo's work deserved it ahead of a guy who only grabbed 1 board in 20+ minutes, well ok. Theo didn't deserve it against the 24-point Dickey vs Mich.St, but the 1 board 5 point Dickey is a different story.......... This was a message to Ra'Sean, who has had questions tagged to him since high school about his ability (or lack of) to come out and play hard every night. In fact, most recruiting services had him in the 30-50 ranking range. Had he had the rep as an "every night" guy, I have no doubt he would have been in the top 25. If he can ever harness the J-Smith attitude -watch out!!! Speacking of J-Smith........

Want more proof this isn't about Theo? Coach Hewitt has instructed his team to get Dickey the ball if he's working hard, and not to throw it to him if he's not. Whatever works. Here's a quote from Coach Hewitt:

Hewitt said its up to Dickey to find his own motivation.

"He's got to do it. If you find yourself motivating someone all the time, you're basically counting the days until you lose or until disaster," Hewitt said. "If you have to constantly motivate somebody, your team's not going to win."

Ok, anyone want to place odds on Smith making it through the season with missing time due to injury. This guys isn't injury prone - he just plays so dang hard all the time. I said this past summer that I thought this team was Jeremis's for the taking - in terms of leadership. He is really starting to set a tone and step up.

Meanwhile, Jeremis's girlfriend took him into that gym last week after all those missed free throw and wouldn't let him leave until he hit 12 in a row - the very number he missed vs UGAg. Well, he went 10-10 last game. Nice. Hey Jeremis - don't let that young lady slip away. Sounds like you got a good one. In fact, if she's got friends, you might want to hook up your teammates.....

Clinch has a calf injury and is being held back to heal. Evidently he told Coach Hewitt how much he was able to learn on the bench during the victory over Tenn.St. He told coach there were things he saw that he was not able to in the game. Clinch has been struggling a bit, but that happens for freshman, particularly on the defensive end....... and if it's not clicking defensively then it impacts the offensive end as well. Clinch has not been shy about looking for shots. He'll come around. He's a huge talent (#1 ranked Scoring Guard to go to college), but it will just take time and patience (time for him, patience for us).

Speaking of talented Scoring Guards, UGAg's B.Humphrey wanted to be recruited by the Jackets, but wasn't........and these are his words:

"I wanted to play for Georgia Tech, and they recruited right over my head," he said after scoring a season-high 19 points on 6 of 8 shooting in a 91-75 victory over the Yellow Jackets in Athens on Wednesday. "This is what they missed. That's how I feel about it."

Ouch..... By the way, it is fair to say Lewis Clinch is the guy we recruited instead of him.............

Friday, December 09, 2005

Football History - Dodd, the Bear and Curry

Interesting find:

One thing I always respected was Bolton's unflinching willingness to take a stand for what he believed was right, even if it meant swimming against the popular current. He couldn't understand, for example, why so many Alabama fans and ex-players were unwilling to accept Bill Curry.

He pointed out, quite accurately, that when Bear Bryant sought to patch up his differences with Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd, he asked Curry to intercede, and Bolton went on to speculate - also correctly, in my view - that Bryant, had he still been alive, would have been appalled and ashamed by the shabby treatment Curry received from the moment he was named head coach at Alabama.

Some time after Curry left for Kentucky, Bolton read a classified ad in the News for a plot "near Bear Bryant's grave'' in Elmwood Cemetery. He clipped and mailed the ad to Curry with the notation: "Georgia Tech SOBs need not apply.'' Curry framed it and hung it on his wall.

Bear, Shug and Dye

Whether you harbor hard feelings towards Bill Curry for leaving GT, you cannot deny that this guy has a strong place in our history............... Rumors are swirling that Dave Braine will announce his retirement soon after the new year, so don't be surprised to see Curry as one of the potential replacement candidates.

Football - PJ Daniels and the draft

Mel Kiper has PJ Daniels in a group of top senior RB's, but not enough to be drafted on day.

NFL draft savant Mel Kiper has Calhoun tied for fifth among the top junior running backs that might declare for the 2006 draft. Southern Cal's Bush is No. 1, followed by Minnesota's Laurence Maroney, USC's LenDale White, and Louisville's Bush. UCLA's Maurice Drew is 5a., Calhoun is 5b. and Alabama's Kenneth Darby is 5c. Kiper's top five seniors are Memphis' DeAngelo Williams, LSU's Jospeh Addai, Washington State's Jerome Harrison, Florida State's Leon Washington, South Florida's Andre Hall and Georgia Tech's P.J. Daniels. In this group, Williams is the only projected first-rounder.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

John Swofford Bowl Response

John Swofford's administrative staff is seind out the following form letter to fans frustrated about crazy bowl assignments. No specific mention about Georgia Tech since it was a response from GT fans, but that's what you get with a form letter:

We appreciate your feedback and your interest in ACC football.

It is important that you know that all bowl selections are made by the bowl committees. While the selections have an order to them, this order does not always reflect the finish of those teams during the season.

Although the bowls have a financial responsibility to their communities, it will continue to be the goal of the Conference to have the selections reflect, as much as possible, what has competitively happened during the regular season.

This year’s selections, in some instances, did not meet that objective and while those selections may have met the bowl’s objectives, we will be having extensive conversations with our bowl partners before next year when new contractual arrangements go into effect.

The ACC began the year with six bowl tie-ins but was able to secure two additional tie-ins for this season (both beginning relationships a year earlier than scheduled with the Music City Bowl and the Emerald Bowl). Each of our eight bowl eligible teams did get a bowl bid.

Since our bowl partners are responsible for the selections, I encourage you to share your thoughts and feedback with them as you have with us.

Thank you again for your interest in and support of the twelve-member institutions with the Atlantic Coast Conference.

John D. Swofford

Well, here's an article with a bunch of "fight-back" quotes from our "man" Dave Braine:

"If I'm complaining about us, how do you think [BC athletic director] Gene DeFilippo feels right now?" Braine said. "If he were still in the Big East, where would he be? He'd be in the Gator Bowl."

Braine concedes that while Virginia was concentrating on the Music City Bowl, Georgia Tech had its attention divided.

"Up till [Virginia] Tech lost Saturday night, we were locked into the Peach Bowl," Braine said.

"The Peach Bowl and Gator Bowl both like Georgia Tech because we draw very well in both those places, obviously."

If Virginia Tech had beaten 14-point underdog Florida State in the ACC championship game, Miami would have gone to the Gator Bowl and Georgia Tech to the Peach.

Through all this, Mr.Braine wants us to know he knows how the bowl racquet works:

Braine, who is in his ninth year as Georgia Tech athletic director, was the Hokies' athletic director for 10 years before that. He knows how the system works.

"This is my 14th straight bowl," he said. "Believe me, I do."

Yeah, well, with all due respect, it's not helping.............

Football - Next Coach at GaSouthern???

This from

Georgia Souther: We hear ex-UGA DC and current Jax Jags LB coach, Brian
VanGorder will be named GA Southern’s new head coach soon.

If true, then our own Coach Giff Smith would hopefully be staying put

What's Buzzin' for Thursday

Well, how about this - the Music City Bowl is having trouble selling tickets.

As of early yesterday afternoon, U.Va. had sold about 2,335 tickets to the public, said Rich Murray, director of athletics media relations. The school will buy about 1,500 tickets for "internal use," Murray said.

That leaves about 6,150 tickets still available from Virginia's allotment.

Virginia fans turned out in force for the 2002 and'03 Continental Tire Bowls in Charlotte, N.C. Few U.Va. fans, however, traveled to Boise, Idaho, for last year's MPC Computers Bowl.

Surprise, surprise................ You know, there's a real short-term view to these bowl alignments that I think many are missing. By passing up better teams in a given year for a team that might "travel" better, there is a real branding opportunity lost. If a bowl game is interested in becoming a "bid daddy" and not one of those waste bowls referred to every Xmas season, then they need to consistently field the BEST teams, not the most travel-worthy teams. The Charlotte Bowl has quickly branded themselves as regional homers who have no interest in growing themselves into something larger. They are sacrificing long-term growth for short-term results. Maybe that is needed in the early years to establish a base as a new bowl, but the Meineke Bowl sure is hurting their long-term potential by not taking the BEST team.

Just my two cents and I'm sticking to it...............

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Hoops - This is getting old

The misery continues against the Mutts this year, as the Jackets fall yet again in Athens 91-75. I really hate Georgia. Really, really hate'em.... Can you believe we are 3-23 in their house? the home team has won 10 of the last 11 in the series.

Well, things started nip-and-tuck, run-and-gun. It was a real up-and-down game, fast, aggressive, and pretty well played, with few turnovers. In fact the teams only had 8 turnovers between them in the 1st half. Georgia was shooting almost everything from long range, and they were hitting. There were all kinds of lead changes until UGA went up 32-31 at the 5:00 mark. Then it went downhill. The Jackets only hit one shot from the field for the rest of the half and a couple of free throws, and trailed 49-36 at the half.................. The 2nd half opened slow again for the Jackets, until they went on a little mini-run to pull the game within 11 at 60-49. UGAg responded and the Jackets again got to 70-60, but the mutts responded again, stretching the lead to 17. With about 9:00 in the game there was a bit of a scuffle with both teams doing a bit of pushing and jawing. Unfortunately it was more of the same the rest of the way. The Jackets could never make that run and bring the game within single digits and UGAg wins running away 91-75.

DEFENSE....... F
Totally lackluster for most of the game. The intensity was virtually non-existant until mid-way through the 2nd half. UGAg had free passing lanes most of the game, They got the ball to the open man over and over and over. They hit their shots. Heck, they scored 91 points. Let's think about that - 91 points from a Coach Hewitt team. ......... and there. Tech didn't contest passing around the perimeter and UGAg consistently penetrated off the dribble and either got the basket or kicked to an open man on the perimeter. All I can say is that this was a complete frosh-like effort on defense.

In addition to that, the Jackets forced very few turnovers. UGAg only had 7 for the entire game, 3 of which came from Jacket steals. UGAg ended the game with 17 assists and 7 turnovers for a ratio of 2.42. That's a killer. Consider we had a 0.53 assist/to ratio, that says a lot. In fact, UGAg had 29 field goals on their 17 assists - that's good...... for them.....

UGAg shoots 49% for the game, including 38% from long range, although it was higher for most of the game.

Overall a decent effort on the boards. But it should have been, as UGAg should have been outmanned in the paint. The Dawgs are a perimter oriented team, not a big banging team underneath. The Jackets outrebound UGA 44-29, and 20-15 on the offensive glass. A good effort, but many of those boards were the result of short misses and layups that just wouldn't drop.

Jeremis Smith had a monster night on the boards, pulling down 14, including 5 offensive. Anthony Morrow grabs 9 boards, and shows some real aggressivness in the paint. Where was Ra'Sean Dickey? Nowhere to be found. He ends the night with 1 rebound in 22 minutes. No, that is not a misprint. Ra'Sean Dickey might as well have been on the bench, because had more offensive fouls than rebounds. His point total of 5 didn't wow the opposition either.

Yuck. What happens when the closest thing you have to a point guard gets into foul trouble and the opposing team decides they are going to contest every single pass you make? Well, just look at the final score for your answer. The Dawgs just decided they were going to get after it on defense, and they did. The Jackets repeatedly setup the half court offense and couldn't even get one good pass on the perimeter. If you remember, this is something we've seen from Hewitt teams in the past. They never really exploited the overplay up top with inside cuts and interior passing. The offensive flow was terrible, passing was poor, and the team just didn't setup many good looks. Most of the baskets were really hard fought. You have to give some credit (gulp) to the mutts. Their intensity was just so much better.

Statistically, the Jackets had a grand total of 7 assists............ AS A TEAM!!!! Think about that - 7 assists total. That's pitiful. That's a result of poor ball movement and repeatedly trying to go one-on-one or firing from the outside.

Individually, A-Mo led the way with 28 points (8-17, 4-7). He was very aggressive most of the night on the offensive end, although I wasn't impressed on the defensive side.......... Jeremis Smith chipped in 19 points (5-12) to go with his 14 boards. He also had the only 3 steals by the entire team. Unfortunately there was a big weakness to his game tonight - free thows. Jeremis gets to the line 21 times, but only drops 9. If we're ever going to win more games, he's got to get that percentage to the 60-70% range. The rest of the team went 14-16, but when one particular guy goes to the lane 21 times, you'd like him to hit a few more.

Buck Fredrick had another off-night. He goes 1-12 from the field and scores 6 points. Unfortunately he had 3 assists and 4 turnovers. He had a few decent plays, but the guys (like Dickey) just didn't finish the play. IT wasn't all his fault, but he sure didn't do much to help the team tonight.

We tried to draw blood on yet another opponent. Didn't draw blood but gave the hot-headed Idrassi a nice black-eye. Man we're a physical team for sure.

Combined, these two teams shot 77 free throws. That's a lot. That was a result of 59 fouls.

It wasn't there. It's going to have to be there soon if we're going to win some games. There were only two guys that really left it on the court most of the game tonight - Jeremis Smith and A-Mo.

I don't get the sense watching Jeremis Smith that he's an explosive guy off the floor. If his knee is back 100%, then I would peg him as a guy who is outstanding at getting position and using his strength in the lower body to get boards and go back up. He isn't a "bouncy" guy. He seems to have to "wind up" to make his jump. If he gets a running start, watch out, but just at a standstill under the basket his nose for the ball and strength are what get him by.

We're 1-0 in the ACC. The Cav's lost to Fordham tonight at home, so don't expect them to be challenging Duke anytime soon. Fordham was 2-6 coming into that UVA game. UVA ain't that good.

We are an inexperienced team and nights like this are to be expected. The team is loaded with freshman and sophomores. Rinse and repeat.

Sorry, but this losing to UGAg thing stinks. It's getting old. Putting the rivalry aside, the most disturbing thing about this is the defensive effort. The first part of this season has seen some truly poor defensive efforts. A few good halves of ball, but neither was a keeper tonight.

December 10 versus Tennesse State, 3:00pm Saturday afternoon.



Hoops - Al-Farouq Aminu ruled Ineligible

Alade Aminu's brother Al-Farouq, the 6'8" 210lb high school sophomore stud was ruled ineligible to play at Norcross High School this season. He will have to play on the JV team for a season. In case you haven't followed the story, Aminu would have been playing this season with Kentucky signee Jodie Meeks and 2007 GT recruits Gani Lawal and fellow sophomore Howard Thompkins. Aminu's parents evidently divorced in the spring and she moved to a new county to Al-Farouq could play at Norcross. Looks like he'll have to wait a season.

On another hoops note - download some video highlights of the Michigan State game

R.I.P Bud Carson

The man who coached the Yellow Jackets from 1967-1971 has passed away at the age of 75. Rest in peace Bud Carson................

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Football Strength of Schedule

Anyone realize that Georgia Tech has played the #7, #8, #9 and #10 BCS teams? We have. Oh yeah, we went 2-2 against them also. Nothing to cry about there........

Monday, December 05, 2005

Don't Hate the Playa, Hate the Game


That's the message here. Don't hate the people or schools or even the bowls involved in the decision-making of who goes where. It's the system stupid! First, we asked for an explanation by the Music City Bowl and Georgia Tech officials. We got one. First from the Music City Bowl as to why they chose UVA:

Music City executive director Scott Ramsey said his bowl needed a team that would sell tickets, and Virginia looked like the better bet.

"That was probably the feeling of the committee," Ramsey said. "Virginia did as good as anybody selling us on their program and their fan base. They really impressed us the last week and a half to two weeks. Virginia was probably the most organized and prepared. Their organization, preparation and consistency made it a good feel for us."

The Virginia athletics department sent the Music City a marketing program that included newspaper, TV and radio ads, a postcard mailing to season-ticket holders, an e-mail campaign and a dedicated bowl Web site. But it wasn't just the athletics department that made an impression, Ramsey said. Several hundred Virginia fans e-mailed and called the Music City expressing their enthusiasm about the possibility of coming to Nashville.

Dave Braine provided his response to those comments:

"We have the Web sites, and we have the postcards, and we have everything else," Braine said. "It comes down to one school outbidding another school. When you have a 7-4 record which is better than Virginia's, and when you have a 5-3 conference record which is better than Virginia's, you shouldn't have to buy a game.

"Until the ACC does something about bowls taking schools because of the number of tickets they'll sell and fans they'll bring, we'll have this situation."

Braine said he told Ramsey Tech would buy 20,000 tickets and bring 10,000-12,000 fans.

"Scott Ramsey from Day 1 gave every indication to us that he would take Virginia. None of us believed the conference would let him do that." ACC officials could not be reached Sunday night.

Now, these comments all beg some questions:

1. Who REALLY choses bowl teams? We all believe it's the bowl itself, under a small number of picking rules based on their pecking order in the conference. Based on Braine's comments, the ACC clearly has leverage to get things changed.

2. If the ACC can make changes to the bowl line-ups beyond what the bowls want, why didn't the ACC help the Jackets? Was there a feeling that UVA had to drop down the bowl list last year due to finals and this was the "payback" year? Remember that the Jackets were helped in our bowl situation last season because of UVA's final exam schedule.

3. Dave Braine says that the Music City director was saying "from day one" that they would take UVA. However, do we remember Dave Braine's comments about the possibility of going to Nashville a week ago? See here.

11-28 article

Conversations with bowl officials on Sunday confirmed what Tech athletics director Dave Braine said Saturday night, that the Music City Bowl in Nashville Dec. 30 remains the Yellow Jackets' most likely destination.

So obviously we must conclude that the Music City was saying UVA, but that Dave Braine was getting some kind of message from the ACC that they would not let that happen. Obviously no help came. So why is that?

4. Is this a fan-base support issue? Is it really about the money? Or is there something else? Is Georgia Tech a REAL member of the ACC? We will never be attractive to the north carolina bowls and contingent. Florida has FSU and UM. We have a strong but smaller fan base. We don't sellout our stadiums, but we're pretty much middle of the pack in terms of attendence. Our sports teams are typically all competitive, but rarely compete yearly for titles (except golf). The general media covers Tech from a fringe perspective. Heck, the general media doesn't even call us "Tech" in their articles. "Tech" is of course VaTech for them. I live in South Carolina and the sports radio shows here talk about UGAg as much as Clemson and SC - but rarely the Jackets. Is our problem that we just aren't anybody's enemy? Duke and Carolina are clear enemies and generate tons of hoops discussion. The Florida schools are the same. For many ACC fans, Georgia Tech is their "other favorite school". The fans are generally nice, not obnoxious. I don't know......... The discussion boards are lighting up with discussions about going back to the SEC. There are interesting points on both sides. Personally, I'm an ACC guy. I think it's the better overall conference and I don't want to see a switch. However, you have to admit, the atmosphere during our SEC games is a different level than almost any ACC football game we play. Just not the same. Sorry for the rambling.

4. Let's dig deeper into this marketing issue. First Music City Bowl officials said that UVA had an entire marketing package prepared and ready to go. They mentioned a website. All I could find is this - link here. If this is what the Music City officials were impressed with, shame on them.......... In addition, they sent a package with radio and TV adverts, a postcard to fans, an email campaign, etc. Nothing magic about any of this. UVA just did it first and did it more aggressively...................... Then there was the viral marketing campaign. The emails and calls from fans. Oh - outfoxed on this one. A show of overwhelming force. Should have launched a campaign ourselves. They outfoxed us - period. Here's another quote from the Music City Bowl chairman - "But we're really happy with Virginia. I would say out of everybody, they probably were the most aggressive, the most organized from a presentation standpoint. They already had marketing materials and commercials and ads.'' ......... However....................

5. Ticket gaurantees. This is what Dave Braine was alluding to when he said that we shouldn't have to "buy a game". It was quite a strong statement from Braine. He was basically indicating that UVA must have promised a higher ticket gaurantee. He promised 20,000 tickets from the Jackets with a fan showing of 10,000 - 12,000. However, I found this blurb about UVA's commitment to tickets:

U.Va. and Minnesota each will receive an allotment of 10,000 tickets.
Littlepage hopes Virginia will sell more than that, but he said he made no
promises to Music City officials, and they didn't ask for any.

"We just don't go down that road," Ramsey said. "We've never been in a
bidding war with anybody, and that was the case here."

6. Meanwhile the Tire Bowl in Charlotte had this to say about picking NCST:

This bowl was formed with the thought that we would have a
team from the Carolinas or from Virginia just about every year. It works well
for us."

So, in the end it comes down to attractiveness, fan support and the almight dollar.

Here's a quote from ACC commisioner John Swofford from a week ago about the bowls:

Jacksonville — There's nothing in the ACC's contracts with its affiliated bowls to prevent a division champion from falling through the pecking order all the way to Boise or beyond. Look for that to change next season.

"We're going to need to talk through some things for next year," ACC commissioner John Swofford said Saturday night before the inaugural ACC championship game. "The dilemma that you have is what bowls want to accomplish [tickets sold, hotel rooms filled] is not always in sync with what has happened competitively on the field."

The ACC next season starts new four-year contracts with the eight bowls it will send teams to this postseason — the Orange (the Bowl Championship Series) in Miami, the Gator in Jacksonville, the Chick-fil-A Peach in Atlanta, the Champs Sports in Orlando, the Meineke Car Care in Charlotte, the MPC Computers in Boise, the Music City in Nashville and the Emerald in San Francisco.

"It's not necessarily the same order, and it's not necessarily the same contractual agreements," Swofford said, adding the new contracts will swing the balance more in favor of teams with better records than teams with larger fan bases.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Hoops - Tech 1-0 in the ACC

Georgia Tech opened the ACC slate a bit early thanks to almight power of the television dollar. The Jackets made good use of that time, beating the Virginia Cavaliers 63-54. Certainly a nice win, although UVA is certainly going to be down this season.

UVA gave Tech every opportunity to run away with this game. They missed TONS of shots, even most of their open looks. The Jackets had the lead early, but went on a cool stretch of their own, letting the Cav's back in it. The Jackets steadily built their lead to 29-17 at the half. The Jackets opened the 2nd half strong, going up 35-17. The Jackets maintained a 15 point lead until 9:19 left in the game. That's when UVA started chipping away and ultimately got the lead down to 4, but could get no closer. The Jackets closed out by hitting free throws.

Once again, the tale of two halves. The first half was just an outstanding effort by the Jackets, as they really focused on shutting down UVA's outstanding PG Sean Singletary. This kid very well could be considered the best PG in the ACC. The Jackets had a shadowing strategy. Coach Hewitt told every player to keep him shadowed even as they covered their man. It resulted in excellent help D. Yes, he got penetration, but there always seemed to be someone in his grill. The result - Singletary scored 10 points on 3-23 shooting from the field. Just outstanding. He was 0-5 from long range. In fact the entire UVA team was 0-13 from longe range. In all fairness, they had some wide open looks and the lid was locked down on the hoop. They couldn't buy one.

The 2nd half was a different story. I'm not sure what happened, but the team really lost focus. UVA didn't shoot the ball any better, but they got a lot more looks. They had a bunch of offensive putbacks and almost caught up.

For the game, UVA shoots 27.5% from the floor, and 0% from long range. The Jackets get 9 steals and UVA commits 18 turnovers.

The Jackets get outrebounded 52-41. UVA hits the offensive glass and actually gets more offensive boards (28) than Tech had defensive (26). Not a great effort. However, there is a reason to not be so harsh. Coach Hewitt's strategy of shadowing Singletary meant giving up some boards. You just can't have it all. So they focused on shutting down their best players, which meant our players were not always in position for boards.

Individually, Jeremis Smith leads the way with 9 boards, including 4 offensive. Mario West pulled down 8 boards, Ra'Sean Dickey had 7, including 4 offensive and Buck Fredrick pulled down 5. As usual, Smith and Dickey are the primary window washers.

Another mixed outing, but this is to be expected. The Jackets did an overall nice job of mixing up the offense, between the post-game, mid-range and long-distance. There were some good transition buckets and some good fast-break points as well. There was good and bad in all aspects. Ra'Sean Dickey was not dominant in the post like against Michigan State - however, UVA decided to double-team him all night. Ra'Sean did an ok job of feeling the double-team. He got tied up a couple of times and tried to force it a couple of times, but overall not bad. If he ever gets to where he can pass to the cutter out of a double-team, he could take his game to a new level. Jeremis Smith was solid in the post,a lthough his game is a bit more face-up than Dickey's.

On the perimeter our guards were not shooting the ball well, with Buck / Rio / Morrow / Clinch combining for 10-32 from the floor and 1-6 from the 3pt line. However, ball movement was solid and I just had the feel that the team was running well. Fredrick did a nice job at the point. His stats won't show it - 2 assists, 3 turnovers, but he was smooth most of the game, had some nice passes, and some nice dribble penetration, and some nice shots of his own in the paint. I am pleased with his development so far.

Individually, Jeremis Smith led the way with 17 points and was one board away from his 2nd double-double in a row. Anthony Morrow followed up wtih 13, but was only 3-11 shooting. Dickey and Fredrick both dropped in 11 points, so we had 4 guys in double-figures.

Our freshman are a mixed bunch so far. Alade Aminu has seen his minutes plummet and Coach Hewitt has said his development has plateaued. He will need a breakthrough in practice to see his minutes go back up.................. Lewis Clinch has really been pressing. We've heard so much about his talent but he just seems to be forcing the action a lot. When he starts "letting the game come to him" he will be a special player..................... D'Andre Bell has looked progressively better each game. He hasn't shot the ball well, but you can tell he's coming around. He's got a nice stroke and he's a scrapper and solid defender..................... So freshman are freshman. This group will certainly get a better chance to develop on the court than last year's group, with all the inexperience. Patience my friends.

A great sign was the Jackets hitting 9/10 free throws down the stretch. We all know how critical this is for winning.................. How's this for an odd stat. The Jackets were 0-3 from the stripe in the first half, then 18-24 in the 2nd half. Talk about a swing in calls. Wow.

In that last two games, we've seen something interesting from Ra'Sean Dickey - outside shooting. He hit a desparate 3pt shot against Mich.St., and tonight he hit a good looking 12 footer. We didn't see that last season. His form is very good and he certainly doesn't brick it. So will Coach Hewitt try and take advantage of this skill? Will it only be a last-ditch option? Can we pull some opposing big men out of the paint with this? I double we'll see more than one outside shot from him per game, but if those two shots weren't flukes, why not experiment?

There is no doubt this is a VERY tough team. Smith and Dickey are enforcers in the paint. These guys are tough. And Anthony Morrow has a mean streak in him. They all have that "don't bring that weak stuff in here" attitude. They talk a little smack. They have already busted a nose, an eyebrow, and tonight some teeth.

Drew Barry was at the game and was interviewed in the post-game show. Did a nice job.

It's a win. It's an ACC win. You can't ever criticize an ACC win too much. Just ask Duke who beat VaTech with a miracle 3-pt shot with 1.6 seconds left. A win is a win, unless it's an ACC win, then it's better. The Jackets are 1-0. Outstanding.

Wednesday night. UGAg. Time for revenge. Not for hoops - for football. Help Jacket fans ease our gridiron loss to the Mutts, and our banishment to the west coast.

How do you like Rice-A-Roni?

Cause you better start, as for the fourth time in five years, the Jackets will head west for their bowl game. The Jackets will be matched up against Utah in the Emerald City Bowl on December 29. Here's info....... So the Music City Bowl gets the 6-5 team and the 7-4 has to fly to the coast............ again................ The team that has beaten 2 top-10 teams gets to fly west. The team that went into Auburn's house and into Miami's house and took care of business gets to fly west. The team that is 3-5 in conference gets to go to Nashville and the 5-3 conference team gets to fly west so most of their fans can't attend. Having said all that. UVA has a glorious history of getting jilted in the bowl games, so they caught a break.

All I can say it this - if it was the Peach - I'm there............. Nashville - I'm there....... Orlando - I'm there........... Charlotte - I'm there.......................... San Francisco - I'm watching from my living room. Sorry but I just can't swing it..............Jacket fans are not happy at all. When they announced the bowl invite over the PA system at the GT/UVA hoops game tonight, the whole place erupted in boos.................... However, don't take this out on Utah or the Emerald Bowl. This is frustration over one thing - driving vs flying. There were other bowls that we deserved to attend, but we're not a North Carolina team, and we've been to Orlando, so there it is................... There is another frustrating aspect to this - the Emerald Bowl gets the LAST pick of ACC teams, since it is one of the tie-ins. Now, we wouldn't have accepted a Boise bid, but even the blue turf bowl picks their team before the Emerald. That means every single bowl in the conference passed over Georgia Tech. Not exactly a sign of respect for a good season.

I could not be more happy for the players. This could actually be a fun game and atmosphere for them. I bet they'll have a blast out west because SanFran is a cool city. But most won't be able to bring their family, and neither will I.................... Enjoy team - get the extra 15 days of practice, kill Utah, and enjoy yourselves!!! See you on the boob-tube.

So I'm happy for the players, and really ticked off for the fans. We deserve an east coast bowl - period............. exclamation point. BC got hosed. GT got hosed. UVA and NCST got better than they deserved.

Personally, I would like to read a formal explanation from the Music City officials and the ACC as to why Georgia Tech was not invited. I just don't get it................

Bowling for Dollars

Well, after yesterday's frustrating results, here's how the bowls are most likley to shake out:

GT vs Minn to Nashville Music City Bowl
FSU vs Penn St in Orange Bowl
Miami vs Louisvlle in the Gator Bowl
VT vs LSU in the Peach Bowl
Clemson vs CU in Champs Sports Bowl
NCST vs S.Florida in Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte
UVA vs Utah in Emerald City Bowl in SanFran
BC vs Boise State in MPC Computers Bowl in Boise

If this is how it plays out, the the real injustice is that BC goes to Boise and NCST gets to stay in Charlotte. Sorry, but that is wrong. The Pack deserve their sentence to Boise like the rest of the marginal ACC bowl teams of the past. However, since the Charlotte Bowl is actually a front for a Carolina team bowl, that'll never happen. The BC people deserve to be upset if this happens.

As for the Jackets, Nashville is not terrible. Many would have preferred the Peach, but hey - look at it as a chance to get out and see a new city and prove that Jacket fans travel well. Things could get a little dicey if Champs picks BC or Clemson, but I think the odds are small that GT ends up on the west coast. Stay tuned

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Hoops - The Force is With Luke

Luke Schenscher is playing pretty well in the NBDL with the Fort Worth Flyers. He's averaging 10.4 pts and 7.2 boards per game. He's shooting 57% from the floor and averaging 2.4 steals. His best game was a 17 pt, 11 board effort a week ago. Way to go Luke.

NCAA Appeals Committee

So check out who's on the NCAA Appeals committee who will reveiw our appeal. This is the same group that lessened the UGAg hoops penalties.

Member..... Christopher Griffin (Attorney) Foley & Lardner
Chair........... Terry Don Phillips Clemson University
Member...... Noel M. Ragsdale University of Southern California
Member...... William Hoye University of Notre Dame
Member ..... Allan J. Ryan Jr. Harvard University

The Proud History of Georgia Tech Football

How about this fact, pointed out on the Hive

Heisman Trophy - best college football player
Frank Broyles award - best college football assistant
Bobby Dodd award - best head coach
Homer Rice award - best AD

All Georgia Tech YellowJackets. Nice........

Football Buzz

Georgia Tech will appeal NCAA penalties, as expected...... The bowl picture is shaping up, and here are the most likely possibilities.

1. If UGAg beats LSU for the SEC Championship, then the most likely Peach Bowl match-up would be LSU/Georgia Tech. How about that for a possible match-up? There is an outside shot it could be Alabama in the Peach, but that's an outside shot.

2. If LSU wins, then the Peach Bowl would most likely match-up UGAg & Clemson. In that case, GT would probably have to fight with FSU and BC between Boise, SanFran and Nashville. Sorry folks, but if having the Dawgs win gets us a trip to the Peach Bowl and keeps us from going west, then so be it. Call it rooting against LSU instead of rooting for the Dawgs. Call it what you want, but I want to stay east.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Football - Find Your Tissues

........ because you will probably find a tear forming in your eye while watching this salute to our gridiron seniors. Outstanding tribute............

Speaking of the seniors, read this outstanding article about Dawan Landry and his brother LeRon, who plays at LSU.

"If you tell Dawan, 'You got to get over that wall,' he'll find a way over it," Frank said. "Climb it, scale it, whatever. LaRon thinks he can go through the wall. He plays like that. This year, (LSU coach) Les Miles chewed him out for a 15-yard late hit. LaRon said he couldn't stop. Sometimes, you got to. Dawan always told him, you got to slow down sometimes.

"LaRon is finally listening."

Dawan was always quiet (still is), loved to ration his words (still does) and, despite playing in monstrous settings in front of national television audiences, he was shy in some situations (still can be). He never pursued the spotlight or extracurriculars standouts are afforded, like LaRon did, choosing instead to pass the days focusing on advancing academically and athletically. Heck, Frank says, on the rare occasions Dawan comes home, best bet is you'll find him in the backyard shed, lifting weights, even when his girlfriend is around.

LaRon -- at least, the old high-flying, death-defying LaRon -- gave up weights back in middle school when Dawan purposely stacked on too many plates and watch his little brother struggle as the bar stayed pinned on his chest. Dawan refused to lift it, hoping tough love would touch a nerve inside his little brother. Didn't work.

"Coming up, I had no work ethic," LaRon said. "(Dawan)e always told me I needed to develop a work ethic. I never listened until, when I was in high school, I'd go watch those guys (when visiting Dawan at Georgia Tech) work out and I was like, 'Man, these guys are real big on the next level.' "

Hoops - Paul Hewitt Call-in Show

Some comments from Coach Hewitt's call-in show today
- He still hopes to have the students sitting around the floor like Mich.St & Duke
- The team is starting to click offensively
- Still work to improve consistency on defense
- Only have 1 game in 16 days after finals. Coach thinks the team can make a serious jump in play if they stay focused on what they need to practice.
- Coach talked to Bell and Clinch after the game about being more patient looking for their shot. He felt they tried to get jumpers too early in the shot clock.
- Coach felt Alade Aminu had plateaud in his development in the past week and was worried about playing him against Mich.St. Once Alade learns how to leverage his strength in his lower body, he'll be more ready.
- This team is just learning how to play together. They didn't really get much chance to do that last season.
- Jeremis Smith likes to eat, but his knees have been bothering him lately. They recommended a low-carb diet and he has lost about 6 pounds and his knee pain has gone away and he's more aggressive and effective. His outside shot is coming around as well.


Football - Root for the Dawg?

A local ATL TV station reported today that if UGAg wins the SEC championship game, then Georgia Tech would go to the Peach Bowl. If they lose, they said the Dawgs would head to the Peach Bowl and we would head to Nashville for the Music City Bowl.

So, who do you root for this weekend?

Hoops Recruiting - Interesting Move

There is an interesting trend in high school hoops - transfers. Here's an article about it, and how top GT recruit Gani Lawal is one of them. He joined Kentucky signee Jodie Meeks at Norcross High. Tonight comes word that Alade Aminu's brother, 6'8" 210lb monster sophomore Al-Farouq Aminu, has also transferred to Norcross.

What is the significance? Aside from the powerhouse team they have built, this could be an interesting recruiting assist for the Jackets. Remember, Jodie Meeks ended up in Kentucky, even though he had interest in the Jackets. Unfortunately for him, the numbers and needs just weren't there, even though he'll be a good college player. However, Gani Lawal, his new teammate, has narrowed down his list to 5 schools, which includes both Georgia Tech and Kentucky. Make no mistake - Jodie is trying to sway Gani to come to the bluegrass state. However, Al Farouq Aminu is likely to be a major YellowJacket target when the time comes for his college choice. So this Norcross team will be one to watch closely...............

Having said all that, the younger Aminu has now transferred multiple times, and the Aminu family actually sold their house and moved to a new one just so he could go to Norcross. Interesting for sure..............

Rumor Mill Alive

Rumors from 790theZone that assistant football Coach Giff Smith has accepted the Georgia Southern head coaching job. However, that might be a bit premature. While he appears to be a candidate, the radio reports might be a bit off-base - at least for now............ If I'm not mistaken, Giff Smith recruits primarily the state of Georgia and is considered our top recruiter.