Where the Program stands

Northeast Stinger

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I think it’s possible to believe that the transition from CPJ was going to be difficult and also believe that Collins has done a really bad job of it. I think Collins had a lot of challenges, some expected and some unexpected, but other coaches have done more with less.
  • Defense: Our defense has been bad over the past decade. In the past three years, it’s gotten worse. We have not seen year-over-year progression in our defense—depending on how you look, it may have gotten worse. We’ve turned over everyone who started at the beginning of the Collins era and also turned over most of the coaches. There’s a possibility of progress with the new coaches, but there’s no reason to expect it. This is the area where any turnaround coach would start because it’s the easiest to fix.
  • Linebackers: The main change here is a new coach? Again, we’ll have to wait and see here.
  • DL: We’ve had some turnover here. There’s no obvious reason to expect a major change here.
  • OL: We've turned over the players on the offensive line a lot over the last few years. We have less continuity than last year. Key has been teaching for three years, and some of the players he recruited and has been teaching should be taking over now.
  • QB: We've got a third-year QB who has started all three years. We have a new QB coach and new OC. He's got to be a quick study and make good reads and decisions.
  • RB: We've got good RBs, if they can find an outlet.
  • WRs and TEs: They have enough talent to get open and catch the ball. This isn't changed since last year.
Aside from the new coaches and us missing Gibbs, I feel the same going into this season as I did last year.
Wait, how did you feel going into last year? I was optimistic. I am not as optimistic this year.
 

JacketFan137

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I think it’s possible to believe that the transition from CPJ was going to be difficult and also believe that Collins has done a really bad job of it. I think Collins had a lot of challenges, some expected and some unexpected, but other coaches have done more with less.
i think this is the thing the johnson army has failed to consider. there are very substantial issues that any coach was gonna face and honestly i think that was part of the reason it was slim pickings for our coaching search. pointing these out isn’t an outright endorsement of collins and is not an outright blame of johnson but many posters have their minds up that johnson was an infallible coach.

reality was the program needed SOMETHING cause it was trending south. since thomas left we were 24-25, and there was nothing to indicate we were gonna turn that around. the results against our rivals were terrible and we hadnt played a competitive game vs clemson and uga for years. collins took over, and going into it i think the ideas were certainly correct. the rebrand, bigger emphasis and actual effort on recruiting (which was successful btw, just lost momentum based on on field results), a coach who actually made an effort to be vocal and sell the program, etc. now unfortunately a lot of that has been undone based on poor results on the field. no one on this board has said that collins is a good gameday coach the past two years (although anything but excessive negativity means we apparently think this).

i still don’t think it’s unsalvageable on the field. there is talent on the roster and new staff members can bring that out to a higher level. there are coaches that are in a similar vein to collins that were successful once they got the right coordinators in.

will i be upset if we fire collins tomorrow? not at all. i just still think we are a few different breaks from a better season and we can find those this year. i’m not confident obviously but i think we are much closer than people realize whether that’s with collins or someone else
 

RamblinRed

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This look at the team wasn't really about where the team is now compared to where the team was 3 years ago, 5 years ago, etc. It was simply about where it appears to be now overall and in comparison only to the previous year.

IMO this program clearly needs upgrades in both players and coaches if it wants to have any chance of success. I think it has made some improvements in both areas, but whether they are enough to create significant improvement is still an open question and we'll get some sense of answers this year.

One interesting note is that Collins recruiting strategy has clearly shifted the last 2 years. For the classes of 2021 and 2022 he has brought in 31 HS recruits and 25 transfers. I believe he is making the correct assumption that you are more likely to get contributions quicker from young men who have been in college 1-5 yrs than young men coming in from HS. The part to watch is that most of the transfers he is bringing in haven't contributed much at a college level and to this point GT has only had success with transfers who were significant contributors at their previous schools (especially in year 1 at GT).

Our OL and DL coaches have huge tasks ahead of them this season and the success of the team may rest of them more than anyone else. On both lines we are relying heavily on guys with limited college experience and/or production. We need them to be better than who we lost (which were frankly mostly avg to below avg in the ACC) and whether they will be we simply won't know until we play games.
 

JacketFan137

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This look at the team wasn't really about where the team is now compared to where the team was 3 years ago, 5 years ago, etc. It was simply about where it appears to be now overall and in comparison only to the previous year.

IMO this program clearly needs upgrades in both players and coaches if it wants to have any chance of success. I think it has made some improvements in both areas, but whether they are enough to create significant improvement is still an open question and we'll get some sense of answers this year.

One interesting note is that Collins recruiting strategy has clearly shifted the last 2 years. For the classes of 2021 and 2022 he has brought in 31 HS recruits and 25 transfers. I believe he is making the correct assumption that you are more likely to get contributions quicker from young men who have been in college 1-5 yrs than young men coming in from HS. The part to watch is that most of the transfers he is bringing in haven't contributed much at a college level and to this point GT has only had success with transfers who were significant contributors at their previous schools (especially in year 1 at GT).

Our OL and DL coaches have huge tasks ahead of them this season and the success of the team may rest of them more than anyone else. On both lines we are relying heavily on guys with limited college experience and/or production. We need them to be better than who we lost (which were frankly mostly avg to below avg in the ACC) and whether they will be we simply won't know until we play games.
i think they can be better on both lines but ultimately saying one way or the other is just prognosticating at this point. we were awful on both units and we were competitive in every game outside of pitt, uga and notre dame. marginal improvement and maybe we can win some of those close ones. felt like a few times we were one pressure or one good block from springing open a big play or stepping on the teams neck a few times
 

BuzzDraft

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We are not in a rebuild. Some of you keep talking about a rebuild as if there is some sort of master plan. The only master plan around GT is to push sports out by the admin. Our coach rather than rebuilding is in survivor mode. We should be entering year 4 of a rebuild but our coach made some very poor choices that has placed him in a desperate position. He created that, not Johnson and not whining fans. He just couldn’t help himself with all the empty rhetoric. All he had to do was work and everyone was prepared to give him time. Instead, he runs his mouth but hasn’t delivered any results. And last year we saw he took a dark turn in talking about fans and addressing the media. This year is going to be worse unless he has finally learned that words mean very little and just coaches to results. We are entering year 4 and not one of us know what we will get from the QB position. That’s just ridiculous and is all on Collins. And on defense we all know exactly what we will get. An unprepared group who will be ranked last in the ACC.
Every time the excuses get rolled out, I am reminded of The Interview after 100-0. Gregg Garrett's opinion about this rebuild... his rationale is that a coach will show his worth by the fourth season:

“Platitudes and catchphrases are no longer enough, it’s time to start winning. I’m of the belief that we need to be at eight or more wins next year."​
“If you win four, five, six games next year, that’s probably what you are. The rebuild’s over. It kind of is what it is now. If we want to compete for the Coastal Division, (if) we want to get this program to the next level, how do you win six games, or even seven games, in your fourth year?”​
 

Vespidae

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Every time the excuses get rolled out, I am reminded of The Interview after 100-0. Gregg Garrett's opinion about this rebuild... his rationale is that a coach will show his worth by the fourth season:

“Platitudes and catchphrases are no longer enough, it’s time to start winning. I’m of the belief that we need to be at eight or more wins next year."​
“If you win four, five, six games next year, that’s probably what you are. The rebuild’s over. It kind of is what it is now. If we want to compete for the Coastal Division, (if) we want to get this program to the next level, how do you win six games, or even seven games, in your fourth year?”​
Good post. But the rest of FBS (the teams that matter, anyway), are improving at a faster rate. It Isn’t hard to see that on a relative basis, we’re treading water.

A friend of mine who played for Bill Battle at UT once told me that it’s not a big deal to go from 6-5 to 8-3. But the move from 8-3 to 10-1 is gigantic. Players, conditioning, schedule, injuries ... it’s massive. I think many underestimate how big a gap exists between Tech and pretty much everyone else.
 

JacketFan137

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Good post. But the rest of FBS (the teams that matter, anyway), are improving at a faster rate. It Isn’t hard to see that on a relative basis, we’re treading water.

A friend of mine who played for Bill Battle at UT once told me that it’s not a big deal to go from 6-5 to 8-3. But the move from 8-3 to 10-1 is gigantic. Players, conditioning, schedule, injuries ... it’s massive. I think many underestimate how big a gap exists between Tech and pretty much everyone else.
8 wine doesn’t sound like a lot but it’s more than chan and paul averaged yearly. i get wanting high standards but you do get what you pay for. with one of the cheapest staffs in p5 you should expect poor results. maybe some boosters need to pony some money up and let us hire a better coach and improve facilities more regularly
 

slugboy

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Wait, how did you feel going into last year? I was optimistic. I am not as optimistic this year.
I think that the amount of talent and potential in the locker room is about the same this year as it was last year. I thought we should go bowling last year.

This year before Spring practice I believe I penciled in 5 wins. That’s less optimistic than last year. There are multiple unknowns like the new coaches and how the players will respond.
 

GT33

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I think it’s possible to believe that the transition from CPJ was going to be difficult and also believe that Collins has done a really bad job of it. I think Collins had a lot of challenges, some expected and some unexpected, but other coaches have done more with less.
Pretty much hit the nail on the head here. Nobody expected us to set passing records year 1, but absolutely nobody expected we'd completely forget how to run block and go from one of the top offenses in college football to one of the worst. We took a bunch of road graders and entered them into a ballet contest and couldn't figure out why we weren't getting a trophy. Build off your strengths, improve your weaknesses. Don't burn your damn house down then complain you don't have a palace to live in. There were tons of strategies to execute than would have been embraced by the masses and would have resulted in competitive teams, but I don't know anyone that thought what we were doing was prudent given our roster. We just decided to lose in epic fashion hoping everyone would excuse the results & giving cover to a staff learning how to coach a team while on the job. Bad plan and very damaging to our program.
 

Heisman's Ghost

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According to College Football Data.com, the Jackets were ranked #32 last year in talent (ranked ahead of Pitt, for example).


That ranking was borne out by the fact that 8 players off that team have signed NFL contracts. Our problem wasn't the players, it was their coaches.
Assistant upgrades will help a lot, though we've lost a lot of talent - talent that wasted away under bad coaching (and weak leadership).
Some point to our poor record and claim it's evidence that we didn't have much talent and that it didn't matter that we lost starters off a bad team.
But the problem in their performance seems to have been quite clearly the coaching they received. That coaching is going to improve this year, but it may not be enough.
Opinions will vary on that topic but my impression was that Geoff's recruiting efforts had finally begun to bear fruit last year and it was his most talented team. We beat one top ten team and came within an eyelash of beating another. I don't know what happened with that team but after beating Duke to get to 3-3, the wheels came off in spectacular fashion.
 

BuzzDraft

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Good post. But the rest of FBS (the teams that matter, anyway), are improving at a faster rate. It Isn’t hard to see that on a relative basis, we’re treading water.

A friend of mine who played for Bill Battle at UT once told me that it’s not a big deal to go from 6-5 to 8-3. But the move from 8-3 to 10-1 is gigantic. Players, conditioning, schedule, injuries ... it’s massive. I think many underestimate how big a gap exists between Tech and pretty much everyone else.
I was going to clarify Garrett's meaning in parentheses, but didn't want to be accused of altering the quote.

He was saying if we want to compete for the Coastal Division and get this program to the next level, how are you going to get to that point if you can only win six games, or even seven games, in your fourth year?

Garrett's line in the sand at the time was 8 wins or bust. I don't think that's even a remote possibility (I projected 4 wins in the poll thread because I couldn't rationalize 5 looking at the schedule and I refuse to even think about another year of 3). If Tech manages to claw to 6 wins in year four, there will be some dissent but I think the coach would be given one more chance to return for the fifth year. Anything less and whale donors are going to move against him. And Stansbury would be in jeopardy himself because it was made clear to him last December that he was tying his own career to the current coach's success in 2022 when he doubled down with his "I have my man" endorsement of the coach in the face of those wanting change.
 

Northeast Stinger

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I think that the amount of talent and potential in the locker room is about the same this year as it was last year. I thought we should go bowling last year.

This year before Spring practice I believe I penciled in 5 wins. That’s less optimistic than last year. There are multiple unknowns like the new coaches and how the players will respond.
The same. Thanks.
 

Sheboygan

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Pretty much hit the nail on the head here. Nobody expected us to set passing records year 1, but absolutely nobody expected we'd completely forget how to run block and go from one of the top offenses in college football to one of the worst. We took a bunch of road graders and entered them into a ballet contest and couldn't figure out why we weren't getting a trophy. Build off your strengths, improve your weaknesses. Don't burn your damn house down then complain you don't have a palace to live in. There were tons of strategies to execute than would have been embraced by the masses and would have resulted in competitive teams, but I don't know anyone that thought what we were doing was prudent given our roster. We just decided to lose in epic fashion hoping everyone would excuse the results & giving cover to a staff learning how to coach a team while on the job. Bad plan and very damaging to our program.
Amen , brother !!
 

SOWEGA Jacket

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how can you say this wasn’t a rebuild? collins took over a mediocre at beat team with some major issues and was tasked with changing the team to something completely different. has he done well? absolutely not and literally no one is pretending like it is going great.

your qb criticism doesn’t hold much weight either. college teams that aren’t at the very top rarely have an idea what to expect from the qb position. in the years between justin thomas’ departure and collins we had no idea what to expect from the qb position either.

idk you can criticize a lot of things about collins and what he’s done but some of the things you’re saying don’t make much sense
You misunderstood my words. It WAS a rebuild. And all of us agreed on that. And we were all willing to give Collins the time to execute his plan. We sat quietly during year 1 while we won 3. Then Collins got us Sims and Gibbs and we all stayed quiet during year 2 while we won 3 games. Then the Head Coach said with his own mouth that year 3 was the marker. And we lost to NIU on opening day and it went downhill from there. It was a rebuild but now it’s a dumpster fire. Whatever rebuild plan Collins had in his head ended with Gibbs and others walking out the door and everyone knowing that he either wins 5-6 games or he’s fired.

What I’d like to know when I read Collins book in 10 years is what was his rebuild plan? Most rebuilds focus on bringing in young guys and getting them early experience so by year 3,4, and 5 he has known players with experience to begin turning the program around. Entering year 4 we are going into the season with little experience on the OLine and a completely new secondary. What kind of plan was that? We should have starters with 20 plus games of experience entering their senior or junior seasons. Instead he let incumbent starters with zero college success remain in place while we continued to lose. What did we gain in 3 years of this rebuild? We are worse than the mediocre Johnson end of career years.

As to your disagreement with my QB statement, we just disagree. With Taquon we knew exactly what we had at QB.
And that’s what he gave us - he could run but he couldn’t pass and we were mediocre. We all knew that and Johnson never said Taquon was gonna be Tom Brady. Johnson’s issue was not having a real replacement for Thomas. But we knew exactly what Taquon was as a converted ABack. With Sims we have no clue what we will get after 2 years. Will we get the dual threat stud or will we see passes thrown at the feet of RB’s or will he even see the field after a few hits? What kind of rebuild puts a program in worse shape than what they were rebuilding from? Collins is in survival mode. He’ll fail and in a year from now he’ll be a position coach at a mid level SEC team and we’ll be left with a roster of portal mercenaries and will have made no progress from the day Johnson retired.
 

Ibeeballin

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@SOWEGA Jacket I honestly believe the plan was to get bigger, stronger, faster like any other team with a balanced, explosive offense & a high-risk, high reward defense that will win more than they lose when executed. The plan got screwed up massively by 2 things:


1) ADTS- i still contend Stansbury cut CGC at the knees by guaranteeing the 2019 class schollies. Leaving you with players that doesn’t fit your future plans

2) COVID- of course someone is going to say “Everyone else had to deal with COVID” Well, everyone wasn’t in the situation we were in. The worst thing that could have possibly happened to this team during its rebuild/transition was the free year.

Now you have guys occupying spots on the OL/DL when you suppose to be getting the new guys reps. This also screwed the recruiting numbers up for the 21 & 22 class

Plan delayed and while CGC deadline for results from fans & boosters remained the same
 

cthenrys

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@SOWEGA Jacket I honestly believe the plan was to get bigger, stronger, faster like any other team with a balanced, explosive offense & a high-risk, high reward defense that will win more than they lose when executed. The plan got screwed up massively by 2 things:


1) ADTS- i still contend Stansbury cut CGC at the knees by guaranteeing the 2019 class schollies. Leaving you with players that doesn’t fit your future plans

2) COVID- of course someone is going to say “Everyone else had to deal with COVID” Well, everyone wasn’t in the situation we were in. The worst thing that could have possibly happened to this team during its rebuild/transition was the free year.

Now you have guys occupying spots on the OL/DL when you suppose to be getting the new guys reps. This also screwed the recruiting numbers up for the 21 & 22 class

Plan delayed and while CGC deadline for results from fans & boosters remained the same
So who would CGC have brought in ? Did that affect playing time or roster spots ? Were there guys we missed on because of this ?
 

RamblinRed

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Opinions will vary on that topic but my impression was that Geoff's recruiting efforts had finally begun to bear fruit last year and it was his most talented team. We beat one top ten team and came within an eyelash of beating another. I don't know what happened with that team but after beating Duke to get to 3-3, the wheels came off in spectacular fashion.
We beat an FCS team, one of the 2 or 3 worst P5 teams and a team that went 6-7.
The UNC win in hindsight turned out to be a mirage -they simply weren't what people thought they were at the beginning of the season. That was the one game that gave us fans hope and it sort of ended up being the squirrel who found the nut. We played better in that game by far than any other game we played all season and never played close to that well again.

Clemson was sort of a weird one as well as that came against an opponent that was actually more inept offensively than we were. Clemson didn't score 20 points in regulation against an FBS opponent until their 8th game of the season. That was a game where we played very clean (if not very well) on offense which allowed us to stay within striking distance.

In 3 years we have yet to beat a FBS opponent that finished the season with a winning record. Unfortunately I think that has hurt the fanbase's ability to have hope as they simply haven't seen anything on the field to suggest GT can win games against middle of the pack, much less upset good teams.
 

RamblinRed

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While I don't believe this to be true at its basest extent, based on the public comments the last 3 years the plan would appear to be 'we are going to recruit at an elite level and out talent most of the teams we play'.

The issue with that is that recruiting is one of just 3 important pieces of building a program. The other 2 are player development and game prep/game day coaching.

I don't think it was ever realistic to think we could recruit at an elite enough level to simply out talent the majority of our opponents. Even if you want to say GT had the 5th most talented roster in the ACC (which is debatable), the talent differential with the majority of ACC teams is simply not big enough that it was going to win any games by itself. It is going to require doing a better job in player development and in coaching to win games against the majority of our opponents.

I think GT has the potential to be a consistent Top 25-Top 30 recruiting program - but I think that is the ceiling. I just don't see anything in the last 50 years of GT history to suggest anything higher than that is remotely attainable. The NIL may actually make this harder for GT as it has a smaller alumni base and smaller fanbase within that alumni base that care about GT sports to raise the money necessary to compete in an open money battle.

IMO GT's best opportunity to be a solid football program again is to be a Top 30-40 recruiting school and then an above avg program in terms of both player development and coaching. What system you use is less important than how well the players are developed and taught the system and how well the coaching staff can coach against opponents on gameday.
 

bobongo

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Opinions will vary on that topic but my impression was that Geoff's recruiting efforts had finally begun to bear fruit last year and it was his most talented team. We beat one top ten team and came within an eyelash of beating another. I don't know what happened with that team but after beating Duke to get to 3-3, the wheels came off in spectacular fashion.
We had the talent - Paul left us some good people and Geoff has brought in some more. Eight of those guys on his most talented team are now employed in the NFL. They just didn't have adequate coaching.
 
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