1. Dodd, like Paul, knew what he wanted and went after it. Prime example = Leon Hardeman. All 5'6" (with lifts) and 175 lbs of him. Not all that fast either. But he became an AA (he was drafted by the Colts but joined the US Army instead). Dodd saw what others didn't; i.e. that he was almost impossible to knock down with a first hit. Dodd was famous for that; his recruiting style was like my orthopedist and operations, "We treat the person, not the pictures."Dodd had several advantages not afforded to Coach Johnson. He was a far better recruiter, much like Coach Collins. He had the Atlanta media eating out of his hand, again not like Johnson or anyone else since, most of all he had the unqualified support of the faculty, the administration and the alumni that no coach since then has been able to match. Coach Johnson and Coach Collins have one advantage over Dodd though. They do not have to play Alabama, Tennessee (which was a lot better then), LSU, Auburn, and Florida every year. To be fair, UGA was nowhere near as good then as they are now and Tech benefited from playing Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Duke, and Tulane. The only one of that crew that is decidedly easier to play now is Duke. Dodd benefited from national exposure from bowl games to a degree not appreciated now. There were far fewer and more people watched them, especially the major ones like the Orange Bowl.
2. Yes, Dodd was good with the media. And with his players. Example (among many): Gerald Bussell. Bussell hated be called "Gerry" and all the media ignored that. Dodd didn't; when he mentioned him it was always "Gerald". He would correct the folks on his game show who made this mistake.
3. I think it is unfortunate that Tech left the SEC, but the ACC today is every bit as tough as the SEC, imho. I don't really see much difference in the strength of schedule then and now. There are a few more heavy hitters in the SEC, but the field is more even then many people here are willing to concede.
4. Yes, and Tech players (Dodd let them vote on going to a bowl) were known for sometimes turning down bowl bids because they considered then beneath their dignity. Would that could return, but not as long as you get gobs of money and extra practice time for going bowling.