Further Review

Steve Hummer's Further Review blog offers comments, asides and quick hits on the state of sports

Tech right where it wants to be - discounted by media


We can’t know how Georgia Tech’s quarterback search will play out. Or know the answer to the eternal question of whether the 2017 version will play just enough defense to keep game day interesting.

Fairly certain, though, that the Yellow Jackets will run the ball.

But Monday they got the best news in weeks – certainly since the highly celebrated announcement that they were switching apparel lines. (By the reaction, you would think they had been sponsored by Dickies, and found the bib overalls a little confining on game days).

There was the surest indication yet that this team has a chance to contend when it was selected by the ACC media to finish a modest third in an entire division looking for a quarterback, the Coastal. For the analytics of preseason predictions clearly show that the fortunes of Paul Johnson’s Jackets are inversely proportionate to the guesswork of July.

There is nothing Johnson likes better than to prove the fallibility of a media corps that consistently undervalues his recruiting and his option offense. He has acquired quite a taste for that flavor of vinegar because almost every year the Yellow Jackets have out-performed the annual poll of media working the ACC Kickoff. The one year Tech was picked first in its division – 2015 – everybody got hurt and it finished last. The AJC’s Ken Sugiura actually broke down Tech and the media poll, because that is what Ken Sugiura does.

These same Nostradamuses of the news media decided that in his second season, Mark Richt will take Miami to a place it has yet to visit – the ACC Championship game after winning the Coastal. (How can it be that Miami has never played for an ACC title? That beggars belief.) And Florida State was the flavor of the moment in the national championship flight of the conference – the Atlantic Division – over defending champion Clemson. How many shake-ups can one crystal ball contain?

As soon as the results were announced, Johnson should have sent cheese baskets to all the voters for the favor done him. (I abstained, since I really don’t feel qualified to rank the fortunes of programs like Syracuse, Boston College or Pitt. At least until I learn the name of single player or for that matter who’s coaching the Orange since Dick McPherson left to coach the Patriots).

Georgia is answering to entirely different expectations. The SEC media knighted it the favorite to win the East.

Hey, I’ve seen these people who are doing the voting. We’re sportswriters, an entire tribe of who had to find a fallback after we couldn’t get into law school. This vote of confidence could mean real trouble, Bulldogs.


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About the Author

Steve Hummer writes sports features for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He covers a wide range of sports and topics.