Sunday, October 26, 2008

Going on Break

I know you don't want to hear this in the middle of football season. However, personal circumstances necessitate that I take a break from the blog for awhile. I may put something on here occasionally, but I just need to focus more of my time on other things.

Hope you understand. Maybe some of my other friends want to pick up the slack (Trey, Lennie, etc). If anyone else is interested in posting items occassionally, drop me a line.

I will still be following the Jackets and cheering loud-and-proud.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Biggest Game of the Season

Are you going to be there Saturday? If not, hop in your car, head to BDS, but a ticket and enjoy the festivities. Should be a fun day and a critical one for the football team.

Make no mistake - the Saturday match-up against Virginia is without a doubt the most important game of this season. There are key ACC Coastal games that determine who's going to end up in the ACC championship game, and they all start with the teams on your side of the bracket. The VaTech game was clearly the previous biggest game, even though we lost. However, the fact that we have been victorious in every other game is the driving force. Virginia and Virginia Tech control their own destiny. Georgia Tech does not. It's that simple. Either of those guys can win out and end up in the ACC Championship. We need to win out AND need VaTech to lose.

So Saturday's game is a step closer. Beat the Cavs and we can almost knock them out of the running and put that much more pressure on VaTech. With an FSU match-up looming Saturday for the Hokies, a loss is a distinct possibility. A win and the Jackets are bowl-eligible. There were certainly a lot of folks who thought our bowl streak would be up in the air this season. So there's a lot on the line Saturday.

Will the Jackets man-up and get the job done? Can the Jackets avoid the letdown loss that has plagued them in recent years? Can we continue the home mojo we have enjoyed in the UVA series? Is UVA for real?

Clearly the betting community sees most of the angles in the Jackets favor. Home advantage. Revenge advantage. Coming off a win. Offense GT advantage over the UVA D-Line. Jacket DLine advantage over UVA OLine. I think the spread has creeped up from the 11 pt range to closer to 14 points.

On paper and in Vegas things look good, but football's a funny game. Things happen. That's why the play the games, as the saying goes.

I'll be there with family in tow, in section 218. I'm expecting to see the offense rack up a lot of yards. UVA's defense has been prone to give up field in the running game. Could be a big day for Jon Dwyer. Could be a big day for Roddy Jones. UVA plays a 3-4 defense, which means 3 down linemen and 4 linebackers. That's their base defense. For a pretty detailed primer on the 3-4, check this out.


Embry Peeples, Fr., A-Back (ankle)
A.J. Smith, Sr., OL

Martin Frierson, Jr., DB (knee)

Tyler Melton, Fr., WR/KR (knee)
Quincy Kelly, So., B-Back (medical condition)
Jahi Word-Daniels, Sr., CB (hamstring)

Aaron Clark (knee)
Max Milien (foot)
Zane Parr (knee)
Keith Payne (hand)
Joe Torchia (shoulder)

Antonio Appleby (ankle)
Nick Jenkins (ankle)
Yannick Reyering (knee)

Maurice Covington (leg)
Andrew Devlin (shoulder)
Alex Field (back)
Steve Greer (knee)
Raynard Horne (hand)
Curt Orshoski (hand)
Austin Pasztor (ankle)
Zak Stair (knee)

Make sure to hang around for this:

HoopsFest Set for Saturday

Oct. 23, 2008

ATLANTA - Georgia Tech's men's and women's basketball teams will host their Hoopsfest celebration this Saturday evening at Alexander Memorial Coliseum following the Yellow Jackets' football game with Virginia, which kicks off at 3:30 p.m. There is no admission charge for this event.

This will be the first chance for Tech fans to watch the men's team, which will stage an intrasquad scrimmage at approximately 7 p.m., and meet the women's team. The men will play a full-game intrasquad scrimmage, and the women's team will be introduced at halftime.

Earlier in the day, both teams will conduct an autograph session on top of Peter's Parking deck at 1:30 p.m. In addition, the brand new 2008-2009 basketball posters will be available at no charge.

Click here for more information about the autograph session

GT - Clemson Video Highlights

Nice highlight package:

Just for fun, thought I'd throw in this video "The Legend is Born"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Revisiting Expectations

One of our readers, Matt, requested that we go back and review our pre-season expectations and revise them for the 2nd half of the season. Here's the original post.

So let's go re-post our original expectations along with some updates:

Date Opponent / Event

08/28/08 vs. Jacksonville State, Win 41-14, 1-0, 0-0 ACC
ORIGINAL:A must win. I don't care who their QB is. He's one guy and the rest of the team is mostly made up of guys that didn't get DI-A offers. New offense or not, fumbles or not, this is a must win game. No excuses here.... 1-0

UPDATE: Jackets dominated 41-14 and had former LSU QB Ryan Perrilloux running all day. He was sacked 4 times enroute to a dominating victory in the opening stanza of the Paul Johnson era. Jax St has gone on to prove that they are a very good IAA tea with Perrilloux leading the way.

09/06/08 at Boston College, win 20-17, 2-0, 1-0
ORIGINAL: BC won't be the same team they were last season. However, they have a good coaching staff, and they'll be tough to beat on the road. I give us a 40% shot to get the W here, which means I'm really picking us to lose in a close one....... 1-1

UPDATE: In a hard-nosed game, it took at Jonathan Dwyer 43 pitch to break things open in the 2nd half. The Jackets survived three first half fumbles and pressured Chis Crane into some mistakes of his own. No matter how it happened, a road ACC victory against the Atlantic champion in noteworthy. Since that time, BC has gotten better and we remain the lone loss on their schedule
09/13/08 at Virginia Tech, lost 20-17, 2-1, 1-1
ORIGINAL: Not a game I expect us to win. Still too early in the season for our team to be hitting on all cylinders and our youth will ultimately hurt. I expect VaTech to take this game soundly...... 1-2

UPDATE: Another incredibly hard-fought, physical game. Unfortunately the Jackets could not overcome another 3 turnover day, but they came darn close. A questionable helmet-to-helmet call on Cooper Taylor kept VaTech's go-ahead scoring drive alive and proved to be the difference. This is the game that got away. VaTech currently leads the ACC Coastal and sports a 5-1 record. They are clearly in the drive seat.

09/20/08 vs. Mississippi State, won 38-7, 3-1, 1-1
ORIGINAL: Swing game for me. Could go either way, but we really should get the win. I would put the odds at about 60%...... 2-2

UPDATE: We heard all week about the stout Miss St defense that held Auburn to 3 points. We knew their offense was struggling. We now know that Auburn's offense was nothing to write home about. In the end, the Jackets ran all over Miss St, to the tune of 438 yards on the ground, routing them in the process 38-7. Josh Nesbitt goes out on the first series and Jaybo Shaw comes in and runs the offense efficienty and effectively. Miss St has since played better, beating undefeated Vanderbilt.

10/04/08 vs. Duke, won 28-0, 4-1, 2-1
ORIGINAL: Another must-win. I hate playing Duke any more. They're like a live grenade rolling around the floor. It's going to go off on someone eventually. However, we should still win this one - no excuses. 3-2

UPDATE: The good news is that the hand grenade went off against Virginia. Against the Jackets, there was no more powder in the musket, as the Jackets beat the BlueDevils 27-0. Yeah, it was close early in the 2nd half, but the Jackets were in control of this game all day long but just made some mistakes at key times. The Jackets racked up 454 yards of offense, including 230 in the air, all to Demaryius Thomas. Jaybo Shaw proves that he can throw as well as pitch. Winning in winning, and just because a Paul Johnson team puts up bigger passing numbers means nothing about the quality of your defense. He adjusted and Cutcliffe didn't. The key stat was 27 Jackets, 0 Duke.

10/11/08 vs. Gardner-Webb, won 10-7, 5-1, 2-1
ORIGINAL: Another must-win. If we win our opener, this one won't even count towards bowl eligibility, but it will be important in working on schemes and execution.... 4-2

UPDATE: Well, what do you say. An emotional downer as the Jackets truly survive a scare against an undermanned but emotionally charged Gardner-Webb team. They had a bunch of guys from the state of Georgia and they played like they wanted it, while the Jackets mostly went through the motions. If not for a 79 yard screen pass from Calvin Booker to Jonathan Dwyer, it would have been a much worse week. A win is a win. Survive and advance.

10/18/08 at Clemson, won 21-17, 6-1, 3-1
ORIGINAL: I live in upstate SC. The Tiger expectations this season have almost become a joke because they are so high. However, if Clemson doesn't win the ACC this season, it won't be because of the talent on the field. We'll find out how good of a coach they have once and for all.... maybe. For GT, I expect a loss. The rivalry is one of the most underrated in the ACC and other than a couple of blowouts is always down to the wire. Having said that, I do not expect Georgia Tech to win 2 years in a row here...... 4-3

UPDATE: It wasn't pretty. Week one of life without Tommy Bowden for the Tigers was an emotional one as interim head coach Dabo Swinney fired up the troops. Unfortunately emotion only got them to the starting whistle. Lots of turnovers but in the end the Jackets made the big plays when they counted. A 24-yard hitch-and-go TD pass from Nesbitt to BeBe Thomas put the Jackets up for good in the 4th quarter. The Jacket defense had a pick-6 along with a myriad of other INT's and a fumble recovery. No matter how you cut it, a road ACC victory is impressive. The Jackets are ranked #18 in the BCS standings and top 25 in every poll. Can they handle the success?

10/25/08 vs. Virginia (Homecoming)
ORIGINAL: GT does not lose homecoming games. It's become an amazing streak by itself (something like 11 in a row, although I didn't look it up). Virginia lost half it's team to academics, arrests or other issues. Key players too. They season last year was marked by a bunch of amazing close victories. It's a statistical fact that the law of averages will catch up to them. They won't win so many close ones again. The Jackets will prevail on homecoming once again...... 5-3

UPDATE: Virginia started the year looking like the keystone cops with ugly losses against both good and bad teams. Then something changed. Their QB got some reps under his belt. The team got back powerback Cedric Peerman. Now all-of-the-sudden, Virginia, along with Virginia Tech, are the only two Coastal teams that control their own fate. Georgia Tech still needs to win out and needs someone to knock off VaTech again. This year's UVA game is homecoming for the Jackets, and Georgia Tech never loses a homecoming game. We've won 12 in a row. The Jackets will open as 7-11 point favorites, and we should win. We should. I'm still predicting the win.

11/01/08 vs. Florida State
ORIGINAL: Things are starting to get interesting. Why? It's this final stretch in the season that I expect to see a step change in the timing, execution and precision of the offense. The FSU, NC and Miami games also present a perplexing unknown in what we will be facing. Will FSU be "back"? Is UNC really that much better? We'll know. Is Miami "back"? Well, I think this will be a close game, but that GT will fall short..... 5-4

UPDATE: Aside from Georgia Tech, FSU might be the most consistent ACC team. They lost a tough one to Wake Forest, but won the rest. This will be potentially be Georgia Tech's first top 25 opponent. In fact, I'm guessing it could be the ACC's first match-up of top 25 teams from their own league. All of this presumes victories the prior week. Beating FSU would be sweet for many, many Jackets fans, as it's never happened since they joined the ACC. It's time for a new era. I put this game at 50/50. It's like VaTech / BC / Clemson - it could go either way, and it'll probably be close. In the end, I say we lose this one. I don't see us running the table.

11/08/08 at North Carolina
ORIGINAL: By this point we'll know if Butch Davis has taken his team to the next level. However, I think Paul Johnson will have plenty of unanswered questions for Butch and the Jackets will take home the victory..... 6-4

UPDATE: UNC's season took a major hit when they lost to UVA in overtime. They won't win the ACC barring a major collapse from multiple other teams. They lost their #1 playmaker for the season in Brandon Tate. In the end, this'll be another 50/50 game in my book, but I think the Jackets can get the W.

11/20/08 vs. Miami
ORIGINAL: It's dangerous to predict that you'll beat a team for the 4th year in a row. It's just seems crazy to think it could be the Miami Hurricanes. There aren't many teams that have beaten them 4 times in a row. Could we join that club? I honestly don't think Miami will be "back" yet. I'm just not sold on Randy Shannon and I'm really not sold on Patrick Nix. I think we can win this one.... 7-4

UPDATE: Thursday night match-up. I still have a hard time bringing myself to say we'll beat Miami for the 4th straight season. It just doesn't happen against any team that often. However, I'm going to stick with my original prediction. The Canes are going down....... again.

11/29/08 at Georgia
ORIGINAL: Heart versus head. Heart vs head. I keep going back to Paul Johnson's 1st season at Navy. His only losing season as a head coach. A season where his daughter cried the streaming tears of someone experiencing losing for the first time ever.......... then a crazy thing happened. In the midst of finishing the season with only 1 victory, Navy ended their season with stunning victory over Army... Whoah. Where did that come from. That victory was the springboad and soapbox for Paul Johnson's success at Navy. It made people believers, and they never looked back. PJ has made the Georgia game a priority for everyone. We know what it means to us. We know what it means to him. In a year where UGAg opens the season #1 in the coaches poll, is it conceivable that the Jackets actually win? Could the Jackets play spoiler to the mutts national title hopes. I will dream about it, and relive it over and over if it happens. However, my head is overruling my heart on this one. Jackets lose a heartbreaker, but the battle has only begun..... 7-5

UPDATE: Turns out Paul Johnson didn't want to wait until this game to change our expectation levels. He started right away. Combine that with a UGAg team that has struggled at times, overwhelmed nobody, lost in embarrassing fashion to Alabama, but found ways to win. People will forget that this series has been very competitive the last number of years. Theyre is every reason to think the Jackets can win this game........... finally. Georgie has some playmakers but a banged up OL / DL. Georgia Tech has playmakers and a weaker O-Line. Both teams have good defenses. How will it play out? I see Georgia Tech's chances in the range of 40%, which is better than I thought originally. Unfortunately I see us losing the game again this year. Either way it should be hard fought and close.

ORIGINAL: So that puts us at 7-5, with the bowl streak extended. How do you see the season playing out? Post it in the comments.

UPDATE: We're sitting at 6-1 and I had us projected at 4-3 at this point. I originally projected us to finish the season 7-5 by winning 3 of the last 5 games. I haven't changed my opinion, although I clearly believe we could run the table.

If it plays out like this, we'll finish the regular season 9-3, which was the top end of anyone's realistic expectations. An outstanding season by any measure that should result sin a nice east coast bowl game.

............... of course there's another possibility. What if the Jackets do run the table? What if they do beat Georgie? What if they do go to a BCS bowl and win?

............... let's worry about UVA this week and let each game grow in importance because we've won the week before. Like a small snowball rolling down a hill, gathering momentum, growing, becoming a runaway, unstoppable force............. one game at a time.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hoops - D'Andre Bell out for season

UPDATE: AP Story, RamblinWreck Story,

According to Jeff Goodman at Fox Sports, D'Andre Bell is out for the season with spinal stenosis. What a terrible blow before the season even gets started.

If this turns out to be true, this is a big blow to this year's team and to D'Andre. Bell is a versatile guy who can play multiple positions, anywhere from the PG/SG/SF. He has the best mid-range offensive game on the team and is the best on-ball defender (I'm not sure the #2 defender is even close). He's been a team-first guy, sacrificing his game at times because he could better contribute out of his natural position.

Assuming Bell takes the medical redshirt, he could play again next season. Of course that completely assumes this type of injury can result in a full recovery. That's a big assumption. Another issue might be scholarships. We have a large recruiting class coming in. How many ships will be left when all is said and done?

This will be the 3rd year in a row we've lost a key guy before or early in the season (Ra'Sean Dickey, Lewis Clinch in prior years).The bright spot there is that we could be weak on the wings with Lewis Clinch leaving next season.

Either way you cut it, you just feel terrible for D'Andre, and it certainly seems like Paul Hewitt just can't catch a break. Mo Miller and Iman Shumpert are going to be on the court a lot. Lance Storrs will need to show some significant development this season. Lewis Clinch is going to need to get back to his form of 2 years ago. You'll likely see Zachery Peacock at the 3-spot more often this season. Adjust and move on. Paul Johnson has done it this year, losing all sorts of guys. The other Coach Paul is going to have to find a way to do the same.

There has no other conformation of this story yet.

Georgia Tech Cool Stuff

Some cool stuff goes on in the research labs around Georgia Tech - like this, wireless power. That's right - the holy grail - getting rid of batteries:

Wirelessly Powered Robot Swarm from Travis on Vimeo.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sarah Palin Rap

This isn't about politics. It's about the humor. This cracked me up:

Vote for Georgia Tech

You really should go here and vote for Georgia Tech's Nesbitt-to-Thomas play vs Clemson as the Pontiac Game-changing Performance, because it could result in $5000 in scholarship money for GT:


Need Restaurant Advice

I'm in Atlanta for a couple of days with some international folks in my company (England, Mexico, Asia). We're staying at the Westin near the airport and need some advice for a good restaurant. Something fun, not too high-end, but a good dining experience for non-Americans. We're not looking for a long night either.


Sting Stats -- GT passing game....

I saw a Clemson fan who was upset at giving up so many big passing plays to "that terrible passing offense in that awful scheme."

That just made me laugh.

It's true that GT passes the least of any BCS team at 11.9 times per game. In the NCAA, only the three service academies pass less -- no big surprise that the four triple option teams are the four last teams in passes per game.

VT throws the next fewest passes behind GT, 19.0 times per game. That's a big margin between the lowest and second lowest in the BCS leagues. However GT is clearly a better passing team than VT, since they throw 60% more often but we have more yards per game and more TD's.

GT also has the lowest completion percentage in the NCAA, at 48.2%. That number alone could bring back some unpleasant memories from the previous regime.

The thing is, GT still leads the ACC in passing efficiency.

Sounds impossible: how can you have the lowest completion percentage of all BCS teams, but lead the ACC in passing efficiency?

The answer is: you throw a lot of long passes!

GT is third in the BCS leagues in yards per pass attempt, at 9.9. Only OU and Okie State are higher.

GT is first in the NCAA in yards per completion, by a huge margin, at 20.5 yards per catch. The next best team has 17.2 yards per catch.

None of this is new for this coaching staff. From 2003-2007 Johnson's Navy teams were #2 overall in the NCAA in yards per pass attempt (behind Louisville), and they were #1 in yards per completion, once again by a huge margin of over 3 yards per catch.

Of course the reason for all this is that teams sell out to stop the running game, allowing the offense to go over the top to wide open receivers. Also, while GT doesn't pass that much, we throw almost as many long passes as many "conventional" offenses. The passes that aren't getting thrown as often are screens and short dumps.

Watch and Listen

Listen to this clip (right at the end) from a new HBO series "Generation Kill".

Monday, October 20, 2008

South Carolina fans roast Dabo

Ah, the sweet smell of rivalry.........

Blog Poll Ballot - Week 8

Here is my Blog Poll ballot for week 8.

1 Texas 1
2 Alabama 1
3 Penn State --
4 Oklahoma State 1
5 Texas Tech 1
6 Oklahoma --
7 Florida 1
8 Southern Cal 2
9 Utah --
10 Ohio State 3
11 LSU 1
12 Georgia 3
13 Boise State 1
14 Tulsa 6
15 TCU 11
16 Georgia Tech 9
17 South Florida 6
18 Ball State 6
19 Pittsburgh 7
20 Florida State 6
21 Brigham Young 14
22 Boston College 4
23 Northwestern 3
24 Minnesota 2
25 Cincinnati 1

Dropped Out: Missouri (#11), Virginia Tech (#16), Wake Forest (#17), North Carolina (#18), Vanderbilt (#19), Kansas (#21), Michigan State (#22).

I flip-flopped #1/2. I felt that Texas's resume is clearly the strongest and they have performed against the best, while Alabama hasn't been as consistent in their wins.

In my ballot, you're out if you have two losses at this point in the season. That means a bunch of folks dropped out and a bunch of new names made their way in.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Jackets Ranked #21 AP/Coaches, #18 BCS

The first BCS poll is out, and Georgia Tech clocks in at #18. In a fitting twist, it's the computers that help move us into better position, since the human votes barely see fit to keep us in the top 25.

In both the AP and Coaches polls, Georgia Tech comes in at #21, the highest ranking of any ACC team. In addition, Tech moves up to #16 in the Sagarin Index. Sagarin actually has three different types of rankings and their "Elo Chess" ranking, which is used in the BCS calculation, has Georgia Tech ranked #14.

Here is who voted for Georgia Tech in the AP Poll:

Voter Rank
Adam Van Brimmer 15
Aditi Kinkhabwala 20
Anthony Gimino 15
Barker Davis 21
Bill Cole 25
Bob Hammond 22
Bret Bloomquist 24
Brett McMurphy 21
Chris Fowler 18
Craig James 14
Doug Lesmerises 16
Doug Segrest 19
Eric Hansen 19
Eric Page 21
Ferd Lewis 22
Glenn Guilbeau unranked
Herb Gould unranked
Jake Schaller 16
Jason Franchuk unranked
Jeff McLane 21
Jeff White 24
Jim Lamar 15
Jim Mashek 17
Jimmy Burch 23
Joe Giglio 22
Joe Person 23
Joe Rexrode 18
John Heuser 18
John Hunt 21
John Silver 20
Jon Johnson 22
Jon Wilner unranked
Joseph Duarte unranked
Kent Taylor 19
Kevin Pearson 21
Kirk Bohls 20
Kirk Herbstreit 16
Marcus Fuller 23
Mark Anderson unranked
Mark Tupper unranked
Matt McCoy 21
Maurice Patton 20
Mike Ceide 23
Mike DeArmond unranked
Mike Prater 17
Mike Strain 18
Mitch Vingle 22
Molly Yanity 16
Myron Patton 24
Pete DiPrimio 21
Randy Harrison 24
Randy Rosetta 21
Ray Fittipaldo 20
Ray Ratto 15
Robbie Andreu unranked
Sal Interdonato unranked
Scott Wolf unranked
Steve Conroy 16
Steve Sipple 23
Stewart Mandel 15
Taylor Zarzour 20
Tom Hart 23
Tom Keegan 18
Tom Mulhern 19
Tom Murphy 19

ACC Standings

Boston College does us a favor by knocking off Virginia Tech. Here's what the standings look like:

(As Of October 18)
School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
Florida State 2-1 .667 5-1 .833
Boston College
2-1 .667 5-1 .833
Maryland 2-1 .667 5-2 .714
Wake Forest
2-1 .667 4-2 .667
Clemson 1-3 .250 3-4 .429
NC State 0-3 .000 2-5 .286
School Conference Pct. Overall Pct.
Georgia Tech 3-1 .750 6-1 .857
Virgina Tech 2-1 .667 5-2 .714
Virginia 2-1 .667 4-3 .571
North Carolina 1-2 .333 5-2 .714
Miami 1-2 .333 4-3 .571
Duke 1-2 .333 3-3 .500

  • The ACC is completely up for grabs. With Wake's and VaTech's losses, the entire pack just caught up in both divisions.
  • In the Atlantic you have 4 teams at 2-1 in the conference.
  • Who'd have thought Clemson wouldn't be one of them?
  • Is Cedric Peerman THAT much of a difference for Virginia? Seems to be as they are on fire the last three weeks.
  • Maryland and UVA win the Jeckyl-and-Hyde awards.
  • We still need VaTech to lose again, but it looks like more of a reality now that BC helped us.
  • Clemson and NCST are the only ACC teams below .500 Tigernation. Wow

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Georgia Tech Edges Clemson

Before we go any further, let's think about something - the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are 6-1. Let me type that again - 6-1.


That's a really impressive record for the youngest team in the ACC. That's an impressive record for a team with a brand new offense, defense, etc, etc.......... you know the drill. That's just dang impressive.

The Jackets beat Clemson 21-17 to move their record to 6-1, 3-1 in the ACC.

Today's game was pretty ugly.......... 3 fumbles (2 lost for GT)........... 5 fumbles (2 lost for CU)......... 4 INT's for CU. Key penalties at the wrong time for both teams. It was also a physical game, as numerous Georgia Tech players were dinged up.

It was also an emotional game for Clemson with the events of the week impacting players, coaches and fans. Fans were drinking from a fire hose this week just trying to absorb everything and get ready. Let's be real though - the emotion thing carries you to about 3 minutes into the game. Then it comes down to execution.

I give a lot of credit to Clemson in the 2nd half. They really could have gone down for the count. They could have folded like a cheap tent, but they didn't. They fought back, executed some key plays and took the lead. They got back to what has made them successful - some tough inside running and a vertical passing game.

At the end of the day the Jackets made the plays and won the game. They had just enough.

I think it's fair to say that while the offense gets the headlines, we are a defensive team through and through. Georgia Tech has yet to give up more than 20 points to anyone. Clemson was held to 51 yards rushing with a 2.1 avg per carry.

Today was about turnovers.......... Dominique Reese gets the pick-6 the start the scoring.......... Morgan Burnett picked off two passes. Rashaad Reid had another. Derrick Morgan forced one INT by smacking Willy Korn's arm and then he receoved a fumble later. A lot of big plays today by the defense.

They did take a few hits in the third quarter as Clemson scored 14 and moved the ball, but ultimately they did their part to give the offense a chance to win the game.

It is apparent that some defenses have figured out some basic strategies that are effective in this offense - force us to pass. Take the dive away and take the pitch away. Make Nesbitt beat you with the run or the pass. Name me 5 pitches that went for positive yardage. There weren't many. This game obviously required the passing game to come through for the win. It did. At the end of the day, winning is about doing what it takes. The running game enables the pass.

Ultimately you have to continue to be concerned about the offensive line. Once again, they were beat numerous times. I saw a couple of complete whiffs on blocks that resulted in plays getting completely blown-up.

Josh Nesbitt was back, but it appeared that his timing just wan't there today. Of course how much of that was the offensive line? Hard to tell without breaking down the film further. However, Josh missed some reads as far as I could tell, and his passes floated a bit too much. However, when it counted, he threw two beautiful balls, one which BeBe Thomas shortarmed for a sure TD, and the other which Thomas did haul in and take to the house. On the day, Josh rushed 26 times for 77 yards and passed 5-12 for 91 yards and 1 TD (0 INT). He made key plays when he had to.

Having said that, I'm interested to hear the Josh Nesbitt / Jaybo Shaw chatter this week. Without a doubt people will question if Shaw runs this offense more effectively. However, I've said it before and I'll say it again - Josh is our #1 guy.

Jon Dwyer went for 109 yards for the 5th time this year. I think that might get him back up over the century mark as an average on the season.

On a side note, I loved the quick Nesbitt keepers. He ran two of these where the Clemson DL lined up with nobody on the center and the two tackles on the outside of both guards. In both cases, Nesbitt ran a quick keeper where he just shot the gap for about 5-7 yards each time. I was watching both times thinkg - man, there's a lot of room in the middle.

Demaryius Thomas did the unthinkable - he dropped an easy long bomb which fell right into his arms. He clearly shortarmed the ball. It would have put the Jackets up. Instead it forced a punt. BeBe was distraught on the sidelines. However, he would get a chance to redeem himself, and he did. First he caught a difficult 3rd down pass which gave us a key first down late in the game. It was a tough catch falling out-of-bounds with a guy draped all over hime.

Then the big hit - a beautiful hitch-and-go which fooled his defender. Nesbitt found him along the sidelines and he took it the rest of the way for the go-ahead TD.

On the day he ended with 4 catches for 56 yards, although he knows it could have been 5 catches for about 90. But hey - he made the game-winning play. Just win baby.......... I mean BeBe.

There is a story developing in special teams. It's not so much Scott Blair - Field Goal kicker. He almost missed an extra point and did miss a field goal (a 50 yarder to be fair). The story is really not even about Scott Blair the punter, although he had a wonderful day, sending 5-of-7 punts inside the 20 yard line.

This story is about Scott Blair- special teams tackler. Blair had the play of the game near the end of the 1st half by tackling Clemson's kick returner (Marcus Gilchrist) on what clearly looked like a touchdown. That tackle saved a TD and ultimately Clemson got no points because Burnett got an INT to end the half.

Wes Durham should have his video guys go back and look at film this year, because Blair has a handful of key special teams tackles. Now, that's not good, because if your kicker is making tackles then you're in trouble. However, Blair has some wheels and he actually looks like a football player out there. Way to go Scott - that play was a game-saving play.

Well, we lost to Virginia Tech on a drive that was kept alive on a very questionable helmet-to-helmet call on Cooper Taylor. Today there were a couple of key calls that may have made a difference (or not). In this case they were in our favor.

First was a roughing the kicker (punter) call against Scott Blair. Technically it was a penalty. However, if it happened the other way, we would have been screaming bloody murder. It was ticky-tack.

Second was a holding on Clemson's offensive line on a 4th-and12 play that resulted in a Clemson 1st down. It came back and resulted in an unsuccessful 4th-and-22. I looked at the replay and it was not a good call. Daryll Richard absolutely bull-rushed Clemson's center, pushing him back fast. The center then decided to duck and dive under Richard in order to take his legs out from under him. It worked, however the referee who called the flag was directly behind Richard. From his angle he probably saw Richard pushing back the Clemson center and all of the sudden get "pulled" to the ground. From his angle, I bet that's what it looked like. But that's not what happened. It really wasn't holding.............. that was game.

Well, like I said, we had the refs work against us versus VaTech. That's what happens when the game is called by human beings. We'll admit it was a bad call............ but we'll take it.

Key game tonight between BC and Virginia Tech. We absolutely MUST have the Eagles take out VaTech to have a realistic chance to win the Coastal.

There's an interesting dynamic that has reversed from pre-season expectations. Most pundits and really fans as well recognized that the Atlantic division was the better group of teams. Going into the season you had top 10 Clemson, always good Wake Forest, resurgent FSU, tough Boston College, growing Maryland and growing NCST. Really noboby thought there was a terrible team in the Atlantic.

Meanwhile in the Coastal, nobody knew what to expect and generally looked at it as Virginia Tech and the 5 dwarfs. UNC was a popular pick because they lost a bunch of close games last year, but people generally though Duke would continue to stink, Virginia would be average and Georgia Tech would be rebuilding.

Here we are half-way through the season and the perceptions have flipped. VaTech, GaTech and UNC are all 5-1 going into the day. The Jackets move to 6-1 and have beaten Atlantic teams BC and Clemson. North Carolina and Virginia Tech could move to 6-1 today. The Coastal is 3-1 versus the Atlantic this year and the VT / BC match-up tonight is key.

With Wake Forest's loss to Maryland, it looks like there could be 3 ACC teams ranked, and they're all coming from the Coastal. Having said that we need VaTech to lose tonight.

Clemson interim head coach Dabo Swinney did everything he could to fire up fans and players:

  • Did a "Tiger walk" prior to the game
  • Made his players wear suits / ties to the game
  • Sent a letter to students telling them to show up and support the team
  • Called for an "orange-out" for all fans
  • Called for players and fans to be "all in" this week
  • Gave a spirited pre-game talk, which was broadcast by ESPN.
  • Walked his team arm-in-arm, spread out across the entire field from goal-line to goal-line.
  • Hugged and kissed Howard's Rock
  • Ran down the hill so fast he outran every player by about 30 yards (see photo)
At the end of the day, emotion is down on the list of important factors. Talent, scheme's, playcalling and ingame adjustments ultimately matter more. Emotion is a piece of the puzzle but comes in much lower in the priority list.

There was another weird sight today - Clemson AD Terry Don Phillips roaming the sidelines in a Jerry Jones-esqe fashion, even getting in Swinney's ear a couple of times (once as a result of that hook-and-ladder play). Why is your AD getting on the field? I don't mean the sideline. The guy was on the field at least once. Strange, just strange.

Jahi-Word Daniels pulled a hamstring
AJ Smith was banged up
David Brown was banged up.

Georgia Tech is 6-1, again with the youngest team in the ACC. I have a hard time seeing how we would have done this well with the prior regime. Paul Johnson's mental toughness just seems to make such a difference. He's made enough good calls and the players have executed enough of them to win. We'll take it. This team just has a don't quit attitude. They never give up, and never seem to think they're out of it. They fight and fight, even when they aren't quite making plays. What a great trait.

Josh Nesbitt is a sophomore
Jon Dwyer is a sophomore
Roddy Jones is a freshman
BeBe Thomas is a sophomore
Morgan Burnett is a sophomore
Derrick Morgan is a sophomore
Kyle Jackson is a freshman
Correy Earls is a sophomore
Brad Jefferson is a sophomore
Dominique Reese is a sophomore
Jaybo Shaw is a freshman
Cooper Taylor is a freshman

Are you sensing a trend here. These are guys that have proven something on the field this year, and they're all underclassmen. Wow! This doesn't count the guys who've come in and haven't had their chance yet.

The future is bright.

Game Blogging

Put your in-game comments here.


GT 7
CU 0

  • Lots of 3-and-outs to start by both teams
  • Bam - D.Reese INT for a TD on some attempted Tiger trickeration. Nice playcall Dabo - welcome to the big leagues
  • Wow - we barely made that extra point - bonked off the upright, 7-0
  • Tigers trying some option stuff. Clemson starting to get a couple of first downs
  • Another INT - Derrick Morgan causes the INT - WOW!!
  • Wonder if Korn's arm is hurting
  • Missed FG - not even close from 50 yards.
  • Cullen Harper back in the game - bad shoulder and all
  • Wow - GT defense looking STOUT!!! Another 3-and-out
  • GT calls a weird timeout with Clemson punting - what's up with that?
  • Michael Johnson coming off the edge on the punt block - almost got that one.
  • Paul Johnson hasn't figured out the right adjustments offensively yet.
  • Did Dabo Swinney actually call a normal play in the first quarter? Like, you know, run up the middle?
GT 14
CU 3
  • GT defense continues to excel - 6 possessions for CU - 4 punts, 2 INTs
  • Offense on the other hand, hasn't figured out anything yet.
  • Is it just me, or do you fear everytime a GT player has to catch a punt?
  • 15 yard messing with the punt returner
  • Guys are dropping like flies - Michael Johnson shaken up, Tyler Melton some kind of leg issue, David Brown shaken up,
  • There's fumble #1 - Dwyer hit right on the handoff from Nesbitt - Clemson recovers
  • Ok, we're getting a little shaky now - offsides on D-Rich
  • Fumble Clemson - we get the ball back - Whoah!!! Derrick Morgan recovers - he's everywhere!! Third turnover for CU
  • Wow - our O-Line not getting it done right now. Again, the offense just perplexed right now. Another 4th down punt. No answers from Paul Johnson
  • We go for it on 4th down and would have had it had Lipfert not slipped - 1 foot short - man!
  • I guess with the defense playing so well, Johnson is comfortable taking some chances
  • Now Clemson is giving Harper some time to throw - and he's moving the ball. They're near the redzone.
  • 3rd down sack by Sedric Griffin! Nice!!
  • Field goal good - Clemson on the board
  • There we go - Dwyer breaks a long run on 3rd down - and now Nesbitt finds Roddy for a long pass. The adjustments have begun. We're close to the redzone now
  • TD Nesbitt on the keeper............ I'm a Ramblin Wreck from Georgia Tech...................
  • 1st 6 drivers 62 yards, last drive 80 yards, adjustments working
  • Wow - a great return - Scott Blair has made more TD-saving tackles than anyone on the team. That's a problem
  • Wow, Morgan Burnett saves the day with INT #3 on the day.
  • That's the end of the half
  • You have to like what you see in the defense, the offense started to show life at the end of the half
  • Scott Blair for MVP

Team Statistics

Yellow Jackets Tigers
First Downs 6 5
Passing 1 3
Rushing 5 1
Penalty 0 1
Third Down Efficiency 2-7 1-7
Fourth Down Efficiency 0-1 0-0
Total Plays 31 30
Average Gain Per Play 4.5 2.7
Rushes 28 14
Average Per Rush 3.6 1.6
Completions-Attempts 2-3 9-16
Yards Per Pass Play 12.3 3.8
Times Sacked 1 1
Yards Lost to Sacks 9 6
Had Intercepted 0 3
Average Punt 36.3 36.3
Penalty Yards 10 15
Fumbles Lost 1 1

Dwyer 52 yards at the half
Nesbitt 2-3 passing, 37 yards, 15 rushes for 31 yards
Defense has created 4 INT's and 1 fumble - wow

GT 14
CU 17
  • Jackets receive - bad return by Dwyer
  • 15 yard illegal block penalty hurt, but Nesbitt makes a play to get a key 1st down on 3rd-and-2
  • Another fumble - Dwyer again - all his fault this time Clemson recovers on our 45
  • TD Clemson on an underthrown ball - looked like Jahi pulled up lame with some kind of hamstring issue - looks like he'll probably be out for the rest of the game.
  • Again, the turnover leads directly to 7 points - the defense can't do everything folks
  • Looked like Dwyer got banged up on that return - Quincy Kelly is in a B-Back
  • GT offense has caught 2 balls, GT defense has caught 3. Wow
  • Easy first down pass, dropped by Correy Earls, result = punt
  • Wow - VERY questionable running into the kicker penalty - lucky break for GT. Really a bad call, but I'll take it.
  • Dwyer back in and goes 15 yards for 1st down
  • We're starting to push it up the middle a lot. Nesbitt on some quick keepers up the middle. Dwyer up the middle.
  • Nesbitt's throws don't look good. A lot of floaters. Of course when you're pressured and throwing off your back foot, that's going to happen. Another punt. Clemson will start at their own 20 with about 6 minutes to go in Q3
  • Clemson on the move again - convert a key 3rd-and-9, no pressure on the QB.
  • Wow - D-Rich just missed the easiest sack of his life and Harper completes a 1st down pass as a result - key play?
  • Screen pass for a TD Clemson, so much for Willy Korn, right.
  • The defense AND the offense need to step up now.
  • Give Clemson credit - they have changed the "big Mo" - clearly in their favor right now
GT 21
CU 17
  • The offense is doing NOTHING now. NOTHING. Punting..... again
  • Roddy Jones in at punt returner - good. He catches the ball and gets a few yards too.
  • Nesbitt throwing the ball looks terrible. Finally hits a pass and it's holding. Coming back
  • 3rd and long is a bad bad situation in this offense (well, any offense really)
  • BeBe Thomas just dropped an easy TD pass - a bomb right into his hands. He just shortarmed that ball - wow - That's a TD folks. Pitch and catch. Now, instead it's a punt.
  • Defense does the job. We get the ball back again with good field position.
  • D.Thomas makes amends with a key 3rd down tough grab
  • AJ Smith banged up...... again. Will that guy ever play a full game?
  • There are VERY few pitches to A-Backs in this game. It's Nesbitt or Dwyer.
  • TD BeBe Thomas on a key 3rd down!!!!!! Wow.
  • Ok, so Nesbitt's arms has woken up.
  • Nice to see BeBe get a 2nd and 3rd chance and come through
  • Can the defense hold?? 5:13 remaining
  • Clemson is keeping extra guys in to protect Harper. Seemed like they had 8 in pass protection
  • 3rd down and 12 for Clemson at their 47...................... no dice
  • 4th down and 12 for Clemson at their 47. They're going for it ..................... 1st down....... but HOLDING on Clemson!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 4th down and 22 for Clemson at their 37. They're going for it...................... NO GOOD!!! Jackets take over............ the hook-and-ladder-and-pitch ain't gonna work. Wow!!!
  • That should be ball game............. should be
  • Morgan Burnett gets the INT to ice it.
  • Wow - what a game. A lot of mistakes but the Jackets manage to make the big play when it's needed.
  • Credit to Clemson for a solid 2nd half. They came out and battled back, but the Jackets just made key plays at key times.


Team Statistics
Yellow Jackets Tigers
First Downs 13 11
Passing 3 8
Rushing 9 2
Penalty 1 1
Third Down Efficiency 6-16 2-12
Fourth Down Efficiency 0-1 0-0
Total Plays 64 56
Average Gain Per Play 4.7 4.5
Rushes 52 24
Average Per Rush 4.0 2.1
Completions-Attempts 5-12 19-32
Yards Per Pass Play 7.6 6.2
Times Sacked 1 1
Yards Lost to Sacks 9 6
Had Intercepted 0 4
Average Punt 39.0 36.8
Penalty Yards 45 35
Fumbles Lost 2 2

Dwyer - 21 carries, 109 yards
Nesbitt - 5-12, 91 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 26 carries for 77 yards
D.Thomas - 4 catches for 56 yards (but should have been 5 for about 90)

J.Davis - 8 carries, 26 yards
J.Harper - 10 carries, 26 yards
C.Harper - 15-25 passing, 171 yards, 2 TD's, 2 INT's
W.Korn - 4-6, 28 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
A.Kelly - 7 catches, 119 yards

Buzz Gets the Fumble

Buzz knocks the ball lose and takes it back a few yards. A sign of things to come?

Clemson Injury Report

Clemson's injury report:


Jamie Cumbie, DT, broken wrist, out
Rashaad Jackson, DT, knee, out
C.J. Spiller, RB, hamstring, out
David Smith, OT, sprained ankle, out
Cory Lambert, OT, foot, questionable
Barry Humphries, OG, knee, questionable
Cullen Harper, QB, shoulder, Probable
Tyler Grisham, WR, ankle, probable
Mason Cloy, OG, Knee, Probable

Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper said after practice that he does need surgery on his left (nonthrowing) shoulder. He said that he has not decided when he will have the surgery. He will be available to play against Georgia Tech on Saturday.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Vic Koenning - Weasel

Clemson defensive coordinator Vic Koenning doesn't hide the fact that he's whiny and weasely. I like that about him. He doesn't pretend to be one thing on the outside and to the media, then act totally different to his team and in private. He's equally grumpy and scummy everywhere. He's chock full of stuff to complain about. One year he was complaining about Georgia Tech's chop block tactics. This week, Koenning had this to say about Georgia Tech's offense:

"If you’re a great quarterback, you don’t want to go there. If you’re a great receiver, you don’t want to go there," Koenning said, repeating verbatim what the scout told him. "I’m not trying to be ugly — they’re going to throw the ball 12, 15 times a game. You want to catch balls. Offensive linemen, if you want to be in the NFL, you don’t go there, because you’re not going to get looked at."

This is why I respect Koenning. He open about his weasel-ishness. Most coaches are going to use these empty tactics on recruits one-on-one and in private, then be all "what a great offense that is" with the media. Koenning doesn't hide his slamming of Paul Johnson. He does it right out in the open. Face it - all coaches are using these same tactics to recruits. Koenning is special in that regard.

I don't have time to go into all the comments here, but I'd like to point out some things.

Koenning: "Offensive linemen, if you want to be in the NFL, you don’t go there, because you’re not going to get looked at."

Ok, let's look at some facts.
Number of Clemson offensive linemen in the NFL = 1
Number of Navy offensive linemen in the NFL = 1
Number of Georgia Tech offensive linemen in the NFL = 2

Think about that for a minute. Navy's recruiting classes have been consistently ranked in the bottom 5% of the 116+ 1A teams. Clemson, on the other hand, typically has had top 30 classes every year, including top 20 and top 10 in recent years.

So Navy gets offensive linemen that nobody else wants in college - NOBODY, and they develop one guy to the NFL. Clemson gets many of the top recruits in the land and they only match Navy's ability to put offensive linemen in the NFL.

I think the message here is clear - Clemson cannot take more highly touted, bigger recruits and get them to the NFL any better than Navy, who runs some whacko offense that the NFL pays no attention to and can't get any of the same guys.

The message is clear - DO NO GO TO CLEMSON IF YOU WANT TO BE AN NFL LINEMAN. They won't get you there. Facts are facts. Hey, Bowden's been at it for almost 10 years at that's what he has to show for it?

Koenning - "If you’re a great receiver, you don’t want to go there,"

Facts - BeBe Thomas, Georgia Tech's primary wide receiver, is 2nd in the ACC in receiving yards per game at 71.8. Clemson's leading receiver is Jacoby Ford, at 50.7 yards / game. BeBe Thomas is an NFL prospect and has every chance to go league. Playing in this offense for the next 3 years won't impact that reality. Trust me.

Clemson has one wide receiver in the NFL, so it's not like they're banging the NFL door down sending guy after guy to the league. Georgia Tech has two wide receivers in the NFL.

Koenning: "If you’re a great quarterback, you don’t want to go there."

The facts are that if you're a drop-back QB only, we don't want you. That's just the way it is. If you don't have some get-up-and-go in your legs, then don't apply here. Charlie Whitehurst - not interested. Cullen Harper - no thanks, we'll pass. Willy Korn - probably not.

If you're a great dual-threat QB, then we can talk. You'll thrive in this offense. If you're a talented, dual-threat high school QB who wants to play QB at the collegiate level, but most schools want you at safety or wide receiver, then give us a call. You have a better chance of being an impact QB at the collegiate level at Georgia Tech than at most other schools.

Another point - Georgia Tech leads the ACC in passing efficiency and is 23rd in the nation in that statistic. Clemson is 59th in the nation in passing efficiency. We may not throw it as many times as the passing schools, but when we do, it ain't dink-and-dunk people. If you want to learn the fine art of the bubble screen, by all means go to Clemson or Miami. If you want to pass the ball downfield, and do it successfully for a lot of yards, check us out.

Last week Georgia Tech won on a 79 yard pass play
The week before Georgia Tech put the Duke game away on an 88 yard pass play and had one receiver go over 230 yards on the day.

Don't believe the hype

Sometimes it's what you don't say that's most important. Note that he didn't say anything about running backs. There's a reason for that. This system is a running back's dream. If you're a big bruising fullback type, you'll actually get carries in this system. If you're a small, quick but lightweight "scat-back" you'll actually get significant carries in this system. If you're a hybrid with power and speed, then your name is Jonathan Dwyer and you'll lead the ACC in rushing year after year after year, and you'll be a first round draft pick in about 2 years.

This offense is a running back's dream, and if you're a good back, you'll showcase your skills and get your shot at the NFL. If you're an undersized but quick guy, you won't be getting much of a shot at the collegiate level. Ask Maurice Wells as Ohio State. He would have tore it up at the A-Back position.

Look, if you are a good football player, you're going to get your shot at the NFL. It doesn't matter that much what team you play for or what position you play or what system you play. You think that Southern Cal, Texas, Ohio State and Miami are the only schools that send guys to the league? How about Central Arkansas, Cal Poly, Cal-State Bakersfield, Central Michigan, Coastal Carolina, Cornell, Akron (who has almost as many NFL players as Clemson), App State, Bethune-Cookman, Brown, Buffalo, Army, Dartmouth, Delaware, Duke (yes), Eastern Michigan, Furman, Hampton, Harvard, Harding, Hawaii, Hofstra, Howard, Houston, Idaho, Idaho State, Jackson St, James Madison, Kent St, Louisiana Tech, Maine, Marshall, McNeese St, Monmouth, Montana, Morgan St, Morris Brown, Mt.Union, UNLV, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Mexico St, North Dakota, North Texas, Portland St, Princeton, Rice, Richmond, Robert Morris, Sam Houston St, Samford, S.E.Missouri St, Temple, Toledo, Troy St, Tulane, Tuskegee, Weber St, Wyoming............................ they all have guys in the NFL right now and there are loads more schools.

........... shall I go on?

If you're a good player, the NFL is going to find you. Also, guess what - just because you play in a "conventional" offense means nothing in terms of your development towards the NFL.

There's a caveat to "if you're good they'll find you". The reality is that the vast, vast, vast majority of you will never play in the NFL. The vast majority of you better be concerned #1 with getting a good education at a great school. One in six Georgia Tech alumni are millionaires. I'm quite sure Clemson can't say that. You absolutely cannot go wrong with a Georgia Tech education.

I kid my Clemson friends and tell them "I would have gone to Clemson but I already had a high school diploma"..................... I kid.

Here's the thing - if you're a recruit who cares more about catching 100 balls a season and getting 1000 yards than about winning football games, then guess what - we're not that interested. Team comes first. If you're a wide receiver in our system, you'll have to block or you won't catch any balls. If that's a problem, then perfect. Don't come here. It's a great weeding out process.

Having said all that, I have to be honest - I don't really care that much that we send busloads of kids to the NFL. We will if they're good, but I don't care that much. I care that my school, the Georgia Institute of Technology, wins football games. I care that Georgia Tech builds exciting teams with great kids, builds their character, gives them an education and makes them better people.

I understand that sending kids to the NFL makes your school more attractive to recruits. I get that, so I do want to see it happen. It's just not my priority.

Georgia Tech has 21 kids in the NFL right now. Clemson has 13. 'Nuff said.

Let's not forget - Koenning is a dead-man walking. He's on his way out at Clemson. Of course he didn't start being a weasel this week. Again, he's been that guy all along. I just want to remind recruits that Vic is on his way out, which is as much reason to jump ship as any other.

I don't wish Clemson bad-luck or lost recruits, but this kind of stuff is annoying.

Clemson fans.... see for yourself

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Use your ears

Listen to Paul Hewitt talk about our hoops team
Listen to Paul Johnson's radio show
Listen to Dabo Sweeney, Clemson's HC.
Listen to David Glenn of the ACC Sports Journal, Part I
Listen to David Glenn of the ACC Sports Journal, Part II
Listen to the ACC Sports Journal Podcast

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'm Tired

You know, I watched about 10 minutes of the Presidential debate tonight and that's all I could take. Putting my personal politics aside, I just cannot believe that the rigorous, drawn-out, tiring process of producing candidates spit out these two guys. Is this all we can come up with?

I'm tired of hearing about "what the American people are tired of hearing about......", and then proceeding to talk about it until even more tired. I'm tired of the lack of leadership. I'm tired of finger-pointing. I'm tired of empty promises. I'm tired of candidates trying to convince me that they can make things happen. Don't sit and tell me how you're going to change the economy. You don't have a clue, nor the power nor the gumption to change the economy. It's too complex with too many variables for any of us to understand. How the heck are you going to convince me you can turn it one direction or another? You can't.

I'm just tired tonight and grumpy tonight. Sorry about the rant. Just not in the mood to be entertained tonight, and that's all these debates are good for - entertainment.

Signal-to-Buzz - Oct 15, 2008

Some noise from around the country

Is the SEC really the best. I would argue not any longer, and so would others....................... Of course Paul Johnson would tell you that maybe it's a spin-job to begin with. In his weekly press conference he said when Georgia Tech beats Mississippi State it's all about how Miss St is the weakling of the SEC, but when they go out and beat Vanderbilt and almost beat Auburn, it's all about how the SEC is so strong and beat each other up. Of course he's right.

VaTech needs to lose two remaining games and Georgia Tech needs to win out for a legit chance at the ACC Championship. VaTech has BC, FSU, Miami, Duke and Virginia left on their schedule, so it's certainly possible they could lose two

The latest graduation success rates are out and it's not good for Georgia Tech or Georgia. There were only 4 teams in BCS leagues with GSR (Graduation Success Rates) less than 50%, and two came from the state of Georgia. Keep in mind, it's that 1998-2001 time period which is in the range of our academic "issues". Regardless, I sure expect these numbers to keep improving. Also don't confuse GSR with APR. The GSR is a measure of graduation rates within a certain number of years of enrolling and looks further back in time. The APR is a measure of more current years and player's progress towards a degree. In case you're curious about general student body grad rates - click here.

Quote from Clemson interum head coach Dabo Swinney:

They run a bunch of formations. You talk about, you better be precise and discipline. That's one of the things I talked to the team tonight. This is a game of tremendous discipline. Guys lining up and coming off the ball, playing with a low pad level. If you have one mistake they take it to the house. They lull your corners to sleep. Then they hit you. It's going to be a big test for our defense.” – Interim head coach Dabo Swinney on facing Georgia Tech’s triple option attack.

More on Clemson's offensive line changes.

Gregg Doyell wrote an interesting story about Garciaparra. He talks about his theories on why he has seen his output steadily decline,

We've been saying it along, but we're all homers right? Now some of the national media are recognizing that Georgia Tech's defensive line is one of the best in the country. Every one of those guys is going to get a shot to play on Sundays. Phil Steele has moved the unit from top 20 to top 5 in the country and his mid-season All-ACC team is littered with these guys. Mel Kiper has all three seniors on the DLine on his top 5 by position draft board.

Wow. The only kicker drafter this year has been cut. Durant Brooks has struggled mightily and his tenure with the Washington Redskins is over. He had a few good kicks, but a lot of bad ones. I'm not sure how you go from the best punter in the country to dead last in the NFL statistically in 6 games. Pressure? Mental aspects? Leg problems? A salary? Any way you cut it, let's hope he grabs onto another job. He's definitely going to be a good punter in the NFL.

Taylor Bennett transferred to Louisiana Tech and has been the starting QB through half the season. Now's he's the 2nd string guy. His completion percentage is less than 40% (61-156). He has thrown for 844 yards, 2 TD's and 5 INT's. Maybe getting him close to a 50% completion percentage last year against true IA talent was true miracle-work? Who knew.