Monday, November 26, 2007

"Are you better off six years ago than you are today?"

by Lennie Mac

I take you back to the 1980 debate. Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter were actually in a pretty close race until Ronald Reagan uttered this line in his closing statement in the last debate. At which point Americans saw 52 hostages in Iran for over a year, a weak boycott of the 1980 Olympics, an economy in a recession and the Soviet Union looking like a bunch of badasses. At which point a change was an absolute no-brainer to 59% of the voting public.

When George O'Leary left the program six years ago, Georgia Tech had finished in the final Top 25 poll for the fifth straight year, and was clearly established as the #2 program in the 10 team ACC behind Florida State. GT had beaten 3 out of 4 and it was fighting UGA on an even playing field.

Six years later, and GT had an opportunity to become an elite program. Florida State and Miami had fallen on hard times. Unfortunately, GT has lost at least 5 games in every season, and has not finished in the Top 25 in the final polls. There are 22 or 23 BCS teams in the Final Top 25 poll out of 66 teams. It's not like you're an elite team at #23 or #24, and they haven't even done that.

Six years later, I saw Matthew Stafford twice wave his hands to quiet the crowd at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The stadium was 40% UGA fans. Georgia Tech finished 5-5 for the 2007 season, a season that could have 7-3 or 3-7 as easily as 5-5.

Six years later, let me ask you, if you were an alumni for these choices next year, who would you rather be?

Wake Forest or Georgia Tech?
North Carolina or Georgia Tech?
North Carolina State or Georgia Tech?

Chan Gailey, I sincerely want to thank you for your service to the Jackets. The win over Auburn at Bobby Dodd was the greatest win I have attended in 20 years of attending games there. The Miami game at the Orange Bowl was one of the most exciting wins I've been a part of. But it's time for you to move on.

If he stays, I think we will know one of two things:

1. They can't write the check
2. D-Rad doesn't believe that they can compete with the elite