Discussion in 'Georgia Tech Football' started by IronJacket7, Jan 28, 2014.
Unfortunately the whole column is behind the pay wall, but I have a pretty good idea of the story. Personally, I have no problem with why Bobby Dodd took GT out of the SEC. Thankfully, the drop off in success was not nearly as bad as it was for Tulane when they left
the reason dodd left the SEC ended up not mattering over time. ie had he been patient the NCAA instituted rules anyway and clamped down on behavior. So the point being his reasons eventually eroded over then next 10 years anyway. I think we should have stayed in just for the school roots, rivals, history etc. It was a bad move...and the money would be better.
At the same time, I also think had we stayed in we wouldn't have dealt with as big a mess in the 80s, but also may have never won a national title in 90, BUT and a HUGE BUT, the second clough took over in the 90s and homer rice left in the 90s....I think that is when you would see tech athletics dive to vandy levels in the SEC...as since that day we have gotten tougher on admissions, and the importance of the school ranking has dictated alot of the schools behavior...we have become a much more elitist school than we were 20 years ago. Of course, one could say had we stayed in the SEC, that dive to vandy levels may have happened much earlier than clough...u may be right...i am just drawing that line as a definitive point. Or you could say had we stayed in the dive never would have happened and our program would be right there with the top 1/3 of the SEC....who knows...
I think there were 3 times that changed tech and tech athletics forever in the past 50 years.
One was the move from the SEC
Two was hiring homer rice to correct the mess and bring tech back into the picture (football and basketball)
And the third was the popularity of US News and world reports rankings. This affected many schools not just tech on how they behaved. For us...it made athletics that much harder since the administration put more emphasis on admission requirements, research dollars etc (all metrics in rankings). Not saying its a bad thing for the school...we are just purely talking affect on athletics, but no doubt this put a strain on the programs at tech.
Just my crazy opinion here.
What? Bama et al are still oversigning and cutting kids.
I think another huge moment was the emergence and popularity of the NFL. College athletics went from a means of paying for school (scholarship) to a means of a big NFL payday. GT never fully bought into this and we suffer competitively for it.
I follow 33 on most of this, but his last point of change is, I think, wrong.
Why is post-secondary education more focused on higher admission standards and research funds? It isn't due to USNWR rankings. It's due to much lower levels of state funding for education and efforts by the federal government to fill the gap. When we stopped seeing post-secondary education as a public good and began to ask for students to fund it themselves, two things happened. First, the competition for students who could pay their own way - and thus weren't a drag on college budgets - became a lot more intense. Second, the funds that could be realized from research efforts from both private and public sources also became much more important as well. Result = more emphasis on academics across the board to a) attract students and b) provide a rep that could attract research grants. A place like Tech, that already had a good academic rep, would have been foolish to not parley that to achieve both goals. When the feds stepped in to try to replace some of the state funding, they did it through merit scholarships - and that put the original problem on steroids. Now to get fed help, colleges had to a) show that students merited the loans and b) that their families needed the help. That led to relentless political pressure to lower standards for need. And you end up with a system that essentially caters to middle to upper class kids who did well in school and a faculty more and more obsessed with research and less attached to teaching. The USNWR rankings are reflective of this; they didn't cause it.
So how about athletics? The major universities pressed more and more for athletic programs to pay their own way and to be successful. Given the admissions situation, this meant a slow process of separation of the athletes from the rest of the student body and a separate regime of admissions and retention for them. The NCAA has been fighting a rear guard action to regulate this ever since and has run into continuous threats from its FBS members that they would go their own way if regulation became stringent enough to make a difference.
To its credit, Tech has tried to take a middle road on this. Sanctions against us have been the result of administrative mistakes, not blatant cheating. Tech has also tried to thread the needle between high admission standards and producing quality athletics. Whether that will succeed long term is still to be determined, but that will be more the result of how we as a nation decide to handle post-secondary education then anything the GTAA will come up with.
i think that is an outside influence all schools deal with....but techs inability to cater to that is an issue...to me the other three are things tech did to themselves period...that other schools didn't do or had to do....but the nfl thing mixes in with my item 3 about rankings and changing the school for that...
but the reality is we are seeing ultimate mediocrity with our football program....we are a .500 school vs FBS now...and really the past 15 years above .500 with fbs, not by a ton....but averages say overall we are a 7 win program. And I see this continuing for a while. It happened first in football...due to the difficulty #ships and # of players you need to make a bigtime impact. But I believe, that we are now seeing this in basketball. Although in basketball you only need 2 good recruits to turn the program, the reality is tech standards are harder and the good recruits are planning on a year not 3. So what happens, is schools like Kentucky, UNC etc, that in the past landed great recruits that would stay there for 3 years....now land great recruits that stay their for 1.
So in a 3 year span...you see great recruits at lets say UNC...for 1 year only...that means in 3 years UNC can go through 6-10 great recruits for 1 year only. Same with Kentucky. Same with Kansas. What this means...is there are now less of these top impact guys to get to programs like Tech...And because the kids plan on staying for 1 year...they want to go to the big name schools....
so tech basketball has to recruit good players and develop them for 3 to 4 years...much like the middle size schools that flash in the pan. But they flash in the pan. That isn't easy to have sustainable success because anytime you have to develop 5 for 3 years....the timing has to be perfect. Where as a Duke can have a few developed...then a few NBA ready and do that every year. So for me tech baskeball is entering a long mediocrity stint too....marked by the 1 year rule, some by the school admissions etc...its just a very mediocre time for our two biggest programs IMO, some self imposed, some changes in the world that Tech is being an Oak about...etc etc...
but we need to adapt...One way I see us adapting in football is trying to get more early enrollees....This is a great idea...first it gives our young guys a full season to get acclimated, but since we recruit decent academic guys they can graduate early....it prevents defections...and it allows us to back apply their scholarship to the prior year if we underrecruit which we do all the time....It also lets our staff truly evaluate quicker....and plan the next years class incase they feel a guy is a miss....we need to try to get 4-5 early enrollees each year...this is a great idea.
I think you would be shocked about how many schools changed their behavior due to rankings...and are underestimating it a bit. Tech was and is a national school....there was a good article in the past in the WSJ or similar about this trend/phenom.....not saying your reasons are wrong...they are part of it too...but don't underestimate my point.
Also...nothing is every due to ONE sole reason...I gave a motivation...not THE sole motivation.
Is it possible to be "MIT M-F and FSU on Sat."? That's the real question.
Now guys not at all thinking like Dodd,but I think he didnt like the scholly issues the other schools used to be competitive.I remember Texas under Darrell Royal would take the marginal athletes and let Tommy Nobis beat up on them in practice but hey.......yeah we left but we still played a bunch of SEC schools and we were not bad.I think another thing not noted is Bowl Money.Tech had to split the jack with the SEC and many didnt think that was a good thing and in Dodds mind(maybe) he saw Tech becoming a very successful independent that would what rival ND etc.Anyway wish we had stayed since everybody knew Bear and others would cheat and Dodd would not.I tell you this that after sixty plus years playing in ACC aint bad ...........but it aint the same as SEC rivalry.Of course neither are our awful unis either.........wish we had stayed but can see both sides of this argument.
clearly no. i think 20 years of data is enough to rule this out. And if 2 decades of data is not enough...then nothing will ever be for some.
to me this is no longer even a question
the question is do we want to try to be a TAD more like FSU or just stick with MIT.
Hey mack, would you have rather stayed in the SEC if it meant we were on Vandy's level. (not Vandy of the last couple seasons, but Vandy of the 40 prior.)
obviously no...but for me i don't think that would have happened to GT maybe up until now. Vandy always sucked..always. GT didn't....i think GT would be in the upper 1/3 had we stayed...maybe not LSU or Bama or UF...but right behind...and more competitive with UGA for sure over the last 30 years.
I think you are exactly right. Plus for Georgia Tech specifically, the emergence of the NFL plus the arrival of the Falcons franchise into the city that Georgia Tech once owned, coinciding with Dodd's retirement, Tech's recent exit from the conference, etc. etc. created the perfect storm for a decline in our fortunes. To put the NFL in perspective, I recently heard the ratings for the Iron Bowl this year were among the highest of any college game this year or in several recent years. Yet those ratings were just about equal to any mundane, meaningless NFL game during the season. The Rams versus the Cardinals out draws Auburn-Alabama. Part of the explanation is the surge in popularity of fantasy football, they say.
Maybe we would have mirrored Mississippi who, btw, had more wins than GT in our hay day, the 50's.
Northwestern.....has an occasional good year but mostly below average in the Big10
Ole Miss does not face the recruiting problems that we do. True, there are not as many quality athletes to go after in Mississippi as there are in Georgia, but Ole Miss has not had to fight an in-state juggernaut like UGA for decades. Vanderbilt loses in the recruiting wars with Tennessee. Tulane could not compete with LSU. It is remarkable that we have as many victories as we have had given the inequities of the recruiting landscape. CPJ came in saying we would recruit the state better--we have failed, but it is extremely difficult. Georgia has so many great high school players that so many programs focus on our area. We are Rutgers in New Jersey fending off Penn State, Syracuse, Notre Dame, and all the B1G. We are Illinois, coming in fourth or fifth or sixth for players in our own state. I really can't see that changing much. We need to cast a wider net. We don't need 20 four star players every class. I think there are 5 or six BETTER players that we can get every year, that we aren't getting now. Five or six more stars in each class would make a big difference. Now the question is, do we necessarily need to change the head coach to get those recruits?
8-22 against Georgia in the last 30. How much more improved could we be, realistically?
For those that could read the article, this was the most curious aspect of Dodd's decision:
GT was very competitve in the SEC. Dodd did a lot for GT, and some could even argue that he is the father of modern GT athletics, but pulling us out of the SEC was one of the biggest mistakes in GT history.
For those that argue that GT academics wouldn't be the same or somehow thought of less if we were in the SEC, that premise is false. See Vandy. No one thinks of Vandy's academics any less because they play sports in a league full of schools not in the same tier as them academically. On top of that, GT academics was a beacon in the education world in this region at that time, and has since grown internationally despite what the program encountered during the lean 1980's. Academics and Athletics can co-exist independantly...moreso on the academic side.
As for the NFL coming to Atlanta and pro sports, remember, the South is and will always be a college sports first region. It's all about matchups. GT ceded it's place in the sportsworld and basically gave up Atlanta when we left the SEC. When the majority of SEC alumni live within a 3-5 hour drive of Atlanta, plus Atlanta's ability to absorb gameday visitors with all the hotels and restaurants, how much of an attraction would it be for SEC schools to come visit GT? Alabama vs GT? Auburn vs GT? Florida vs GT? S. Carolina vs GT? Etc. Those games would have BDS full every weekend. It's a far cry from what happens when Syracuse/Duke/UNC/Maryland come visit. GT would have been a premiere school in the SEC because of location. You can't turn a street corner in Metro Atlanta without seeing a car sticker with a SEC team. Metro Atlanta is populated with SEC alumni.
Dodd was idealistic, and basically tried to make a statement. Unfortunately what he fought for, the NCAA went toward eventually anyways. Instead working within the system, he used GT's position at the time to dictate the system. GT sports is still paying for it.
I agree with the body of your post. The only problem is it doesn't support your premise. How does all that matter to GT's fate of becoming less competitive on the football field? GT still would have declined, but maybe a little slower. If you can't keep up with the Jones' for the best players, you can't compete on the field. Dodd knew that much and more. He knew the playing field in recruiting was on a progressive lean away from level to the point where even he had difficulty making up the difference, much less anybody after him.
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